- Other Participants:TNEA Engineering & Advies; Archimedes Bouwadvies
Text description provided by the architects. The inspiration for the design of the barnhouse developed largely through analyses of the rural context of the site. The building plot is located approximately 30 meters from the main road. This results in the house being part of the backside area of the site, surrounded mainly by sheds and barns amidst a wide-open landscape, and not the traditional ribbon development adjacent to the road. The barn house relates directly to its surroundings in terms of color, shape, and materialization. The black wooden cladding is partly derived from the traditional wooden barns in the area, which are mostly clad in black wooden slats. The corrugated steel roof relates to the more recent barns, which are often fully clad with corrugated steel.
The combination of these two materials, executed completely in black, makes the house stand out as a clear entity in the midst of the green landscape. The relationship with the archetypical barn also becomes apparent in the design of the sun blinds, which are based on the story high sliding doors seen in most traditional farmers' barns. The result is a variety of textures gradually exposing themselves upon approaching the building. The vertical wooden slats, the horizontal louvers of the sun blinds and the waves of the anthracite steel corrugated sheets are designed within the same color palette, but due to the variation of texture and orientation, sunlight is absorbed or reflected in many different ways.
The experience of the site with its distinct dimensions (relatively narrow in combination with a much greater depth) is an important starting point in the design. The positioning of the house on the plot creates three different scenic experiences that are all visible from the interior of the house and were instrumental in the design of the building's layout. Namely, the open connection to the access road (the village) at the front; the more intimate and enclosed experience on the west side of the plot and the complete openness of the field and the orchard at the rear of the barnhouse.
The floorplans are set up on the basis of a long view line running parallel to the longitudinal axis of the site. In the interior, the entire depth of the plot can be experienced on this axis. The axis also functions as a connecting element of all the most important living spaces: the kitchen, living room and the master bedroom. The west side of the house has a more intimate character, due to the narrowness of the plot and its enclosure by a tall beech hedge. On this side of the house, a covered indoor terrace is situated that connects directly to the adjacent kitchen. By creating an indoor garage it was possible to maintain the barnhouse as archetypical as possible, without any outbuildings invalidating its typology.
The house is designed to be life-cycle resistant, with a complete living program on the ground floor. On the first floor, there are two bedrooms with an ensuit bathroom, storage space, and a workspace. The big voids above the staircase and the kitchen allow the morning light, that comes in through the skylights in the east elevation, to enter all the way into the heart of the house. The voids give the house a spatial experience, with views all the way up into the roof, which is characteristic of the archetypical barn experience.