LocationBarneveld, The Netherlands
Architects in ChargeChantal Schoenmakers, Bastiaan Kalmeyer
Text description provided by the architects. Design studio IWT converts two rural barns into a glass house and wooden cave for Wim Hof in the east of the Netherlands. The Iceman focus on the integration of extreme human physical endurance with psychological performance through a.o. breathing exercises, cold water exposure and meditation training for both international private clients and professional athletes.
The design consists of two flexible generic main areas. One with an open, extravert and outward atmosphere (which relates to the air), and one with a closed, introvert, secluded and grounded atmosphere (which relates to the earth). This juxtaposition forms the basic layout for upgrading the site into a no-nonsense but sensitive backdrop for the wide range of envisioned activities.
The glass house provides day and sunlight access throughout the day, creating a never ending play of shadows and light in the space which is ideal for active physical exercises.
The larch wood slats entirely enclose the introvert area. This locally sourced wood from the sawmill next door is combined with two artisanal walls of clay plaster, specifically mixed for this client. It creates a warm, earth-like atmosphere for meditation. The dimmable light sculpture waves through the space, as a playful reference to the breathing exercises performed in this area.
The existing steel structures are maintained and form a framework for the building requirements in which future upgrades can be integrated by plugging in to the self sustainable power network of photovoltaic cells and thermal storage on site.
A visually clean and calm appearance is accomplished by combining an array of different elements such as insulation, gutters, drainage pipes, sliding door rails, glass panels and structural beams into one carefully detailed wooden slatted element, almost like a click-on facade.
Both sheds have large sliding doors (one wooden door of 3.5m x 4.30m and two glass doors of 5.5m x 3m) positioned diagonally opposite of each other. Once opened up completely, they enable a blurred use with inside and outside activities and provide a natural air flow throughout the building.