Mecanoo puts modern spin on the traditional Dutch barn-house

Mecanoo is a Netherlands based architecture firm which has recently designed a three-part villa in the Netherlands that has given modern angle to traditional Dutch barn-house or “hoeve.” This villa is located in the beautiful Dutch countryside near the town of Vught, which comprises three close houses built around a central courtyard.

The Villa’s functions are distributed within three well defined structures constructed to represent the life of a village,” says Mecanoo. “The central open space is protected, yet open to the surrounding landscape. This spatial arrangement guided the design of the Villa.”

Two of the buildings have simple traditional sloped roofs, and the third building is specifically designed as a small tower to catch the charming of the surroundings. The first barn-house keeps an open living area, dining area, a large modern kitchen, terrace, and elevated work area .An activity room is provided on the first floor.

The walls are finished with dark bronze anodized aluminum cladding, windows are made by lighter bronze aluminum and corrugated iron roof is provided. To contribute to the villa’s impressive Energy Performance Coefficient status of 0.26, Cross-laminated timber panels were used, enabling the villa 75 percent more energy efficient than housing standards set in 2005. Electric heat pumps have also been used to control heat and cool in houses.

“Compared to other solid construction methods, relatively little energy is needed for the production and processing of cross-laminated timber,” says Mecanoo. “It contributes to sustainable CO2 storage as well.”

The small tower incorporates a large master bedroom on the ground floor, extra two bedrooms on the first floors and an extra ordinary concealed terrace on roof. To connect the main living barn house with this taller structure, a hidden passage was constructed which greatly connects the two structures beneath a grassed landscape.

Designed to host a maximum of 20 students for cooking classes, the second barn-house keeps a large cooking studio .This area can also be used for many other group activities to meet the professional activities of the client. In addition, this barn-house also offers a guest suite on the upper level with a store and parking space below.

Mecanoo says “The design ambition endeavored to connect the residential functions while maintaining the detached traditional farmstead typology. To this end, a half-sunken corridor, concealed beneath a grass mound, links the taller landmark volume with the barn’s living room. The barn containing the cooking studio and guest house, is completely detached, maintaining sight-lines from the courtyard to the surrounding landscape.”

Same design concept has been utilized in these three buildings which puts a solid effect on open spaces. Standout design throughout the structures keeps large wooden framed windows with smooth folding timber shutters and many of specifically located skylights. An abundance of natural sunlight throughout in all of the internal area eliminates the need for artificial lighting during the day. Furthermore, the work studio at first floor offers a large glass window slighting the living area which provides privacy for working.


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