Located in Moerdijk, The Netherlands, House DM by Lensass Architects | The Hardt
Located in Moerdijk, The Netherlands, House DM by Lensass Architects. A farm in the sloping Pajottenland landscape becomes a private family home and veterinary practice. A masoned brick shaft that connects the practice, the private, home and the garden brings order to a cluster of existing buildings. The shaft was nicknamed ‘the rabbit hole’. It leads to an inside yard, which is also finished in brickwork. From the higher location of the castle of Gaasbeek, the brick roofing of the rabbit hole can easily be spotted. Just like the castle, it has become a visually strong and culturally defining element in the landscape. Once inside the house, other unexpected surprises await the visitor’s eye. Even the smallest of windows frames the age-old landscape with its seventeenth-century castle. Architecture and surroundings are splendidly interlaced. The effect is so natural that it seems to have been shaped by nature and history alone.
Church Hill Barn Church Hill Barn (2016) by David Nossiter Architects located in Suffolk, United Kingdom. The site, situated on the Essex/Suffolk borders within the landscape immortalized by Constable was originally the home farm of the nearby estate, destroyed by fire in the 1950s. It consists of a collection of farm buildings forming a courtyard. The centerpiece of the site with views over the rural landscape is a large barn of cathedral-like proportions.
Cruciform in plan with a collection of smaller spaces surrounding it, the arrangement sought to provide shelter for different farming activities under a single roof. The barn complex is the legacy of the model farm movement. The clients purchased the buildings in a dilapidated condition. Having sold their own property in nearby Colchester they decided to reside in a caravan on the site during the build. David had worked on a previous project and was the natural choice of architect.
The barn is a Listed structure and the contemporary refurbishment required lengthy agreements with the local planning authorities. A large component of the renovations consisted of the refurbishment of the roof. Roofing slates and timber materials were salvaged from the other agricultural structures on the site that were too decayed to be usefully renovated. In order to allow the existing structure to be viewed internally but still conform to modern standards of thermal performance, the roof is a ‘warm roof construction’ meaning that all of the insulation is located on the exterior of the roof above a new timber deck.
The external walls were insulated with sheep’s wool and clad with larch timber, which has been left to weather naturally. The original openings have been simply fenestrated with glazing set back from the external wall line. Oversized bespoke glazed sliding doors fill the hipped gable porches, allowing views from the courtyard towards open fields. Two 10 foot (3 meter) square roof lights allow daylight deep into the interior of the eight-meter tall central spaces. It was decided early on during the design process to keep the spaces as open plan as possible. Where necessary partitions and screens are designed as overscaled freestanding furniture. Constructed from birch faced plywood sheets, they organize the spaces, providing privacy for bathrooms and sleeping areas.
A reminder of the barn’s agricultural past, lighting is operated using existing switch boxes and concealed within the existing structure, existing metal grilles and new joinery. Polished concrete flooring flows throughout with .4 inches (10mm) floor joints aligning with the spatial demarcation. A biomass boiler is assisted by a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system that recirculates warm air stacking in the taller spaces. Landscaping and planting reflect the internal spaces and is kept simple with wildflower planting and brick paving salvaged from the existing barn complex.
Situated near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, United States, The Barn (2016) by Carney Logan Burke Architects. Whatever the attraction, the architectural barn style was the look that the homeowners were after when they decided to add a guesthouse to their 15-acre property on Tucker Ranch. The couple’s architect and friend, John Carney of Carney Logan Burke Architects in Jackson, equivocated – for a minute. “I remember they handed me photos of the real barns. I suggested maybe we didn’t want to settle on a form so quickly, but in this case, it really was them saying ‘No, this is what we want’”.
But because the barn shape “is very classic and traditional”, Carney says, “we knew we wanted to add an element of surprise in the design. That surprise took the form of a huge second-story gridded glass wall, which looks due north to the Tetons and the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and has two lower hopper windows that open up to provide fresh air. “The whole thing is proportioned to look like a loft hay-loading space as if it were big double doors you brought hay into,” says Carney.
Besides needing a guest house for the family’s many visitors, the homeowners wanted a dedicated workout area for her (“I exercise outside whenever I can, but needed something with views to use in bad weather” she says.) and, for him, an expansive first-floor garage with a ceramic checkerboard tile floor.
The building pays homage to 19th-century working barns: the exterior and interior walls, in fact, are built of old barn wood (from Montana Reclaimed Lumber), two-foot-square punched windows on the first floor mimic traditional barn windows and the interior has a pitched ceiling supported by knee braces interspersed between trusses, a design that is both striking to look at and necessary to support the cedar shake roof during Wyoming’s heavy winter snows.
Situated in Berlin, Germany, LANDHAUS (2014) by Thomas Kröger Architek. In a small village in the Uckermark, north of Berlin, a large barn has been converted into a country house with an additional independent apartment. The barn was built 140 years ago in a mixed construction of brick masonry and timber. In its time, an ultramodern functional building. After the barn was sold and divided the system was structurally converted for two settler families, and cattle, into a semi-detached home. One half has now been redesigned by architect Thomas Kröger for a young family, using the pre-existing language of the house and adapting it by its own means and rules in reinventing itself.
This former cowshed along with the barn is an extremely stable building with thick stone walls, small windows upstairs and a large wooden gate below. The inherent beauty of the crude truss and the spaciousness of the room were once again experienced only by the coring. The center of the house is a double height living room with fireplace. Three major new arched openings that can be closed by large wooden gates, open to expose the orchard, and green expanses beyond. The house is designed so that the great hall is unheated and is surrounded by an enclosed and heated body of rooms. So for cold seasons, only the smaller and more sociable areas of the house can be used, like birds’ nests.
Right next to the hall and slightly elevated are the living room and a free-standing kitchen. The dining area is topped by a wooden pyramid. Upstairs, above and surrounding the hall are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two studies and a loggia is enclosed. At the gable end, the holiday apartment for guests is located. The apartment is accessed separately whilst additionally having a connection to the central hall. On the ground floor the living and dining area is located and on the first floor are two bedrooms and a bathroom.
A transformation also took place around the envelope of the building. The difference to the structure on the street side is barely readable. With the new openings down to the private garden, the representative gesture brings only the desired level of integration between indoor and outdoor space with them. The entire building was upgraded and a considered approach to energy was made in this careful restoration. The walls of the heated rooms are insulated on the inside with a wall heating and clay plaster. All rooms keep the same surface qualities, whether heated or unheated.
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates. So far I think I've managed to send one super important newsletter out, in total. So if you're worried about spam, don't trip. Feel free to lurk in the shadows too. Either way, I'll still have mad love for you 🖤