Werkhoven, The Netherlands – RVArchitecture
Built Area: 180.0 m2
Year Built: 2019
Photographs: René de Wit
Most rustic-style houses are made of natural stone walls and wooden beams. This is the traditional design. For Barnhouse Werkhoven, the architects opted to go the different route. Despite its barn-like character, the design was complemented with bold, creative touches.
Barnhouse Werkhoven stands in a triangular-shaped land. This challenging form was addressed by building the house right smack in the middle of the plot, not in the front nor at the back.
The façade shows a traditional gable roof, the highest point of which marks the separation of the private areas from the open ones. The private areas include the bathroom and bedrooms while the communal spaces include the dining, living, and kitchen areas.
Inside, the house features an open-plan layout with very high ceilings. The use of support was greatly minimized so that they don’t serve as a distraction to the outside views. This also allows proper air circulation. Glass is used abundantly, ensuring generous amounts of natural light into the home.
Notes from the Architect:
On the outskirts of the village of Werkhoven, there is recently a neighborhood with free plots. Our clients bought a lot on a corner here. All other lots in this neighborhood are rectangular, but this lot has a triangular shape due to the separate location. Our client’s request was to realize a Barn House for them on this lot. A barn house inspired by the catalog house.
The most built homes on free plots are catalog homes. The Schuurwoning is such a popular catalog type. This type has the appearance of a barn converted into a home. Just like a barn, the barn has a large gable roof and the construction is mainly made of wood.
That is why we took ‘the gable roof’ as the basis for our Barn House. Where the roof nods (the ridge), we divided the house into two halves. One half is ’empty space’ up to the ridge. The other half is mass up to the ridge. The facilities, the bedrooms and the kitchen are in this volume.
The adjacent houses are all on a rectangular plot. The houses are positioned in such a way that a small front garden is formed at the front and a large back garden at the rear. But due to the triangular shape of our lot, the Barn House cannot be placed at the front. So we cannot create a standard front and back garden here. But this turns out to be a happy coincidence.
At the rear there is a beautiful view of a forest from the plot. And the front garden also appears to be facing south. Making the back garden in the shade of the house. That is why we decided to place the Barn House in the middle of the garden. Use the view at the rear as much as possible and approach the front garden as ‘back garden with sun’. As a result, you live in the middle of your garden.
To the two elements: the gable roof and the mass on which the roof rests, we have added a third element: a mass that curls inward from the garden . The ‘curl’ includes all amenities: kitchen cupboards, laundry room, toilet, meter cupboard, wardrobe, bicycle storage. The curl ends as a garden fence which separates the sun terrace (the front garden) from the entrance with parking space.
For the construction we used four wooden frames for the roof. These four wooden frames rest on the exterior walls and the two partition walls of the bedrooms. In between are purlins.
In the open part of the house, the trusses of the roof rest on three wooden columns. By tilting them a little, they also provide stability. We have taken the view into account when positioning the sloping columns. On one side we have kept the side more closed. On the other hand, we have left the corner more open for unobstructed views. The V column is also positioned in such a way that the view is optimal.
We have kept the structural connections as pure as possible. Apart from 3 sliding doors there are no further frames. There are no buoys or trim. All components are cold on top of each other.
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Want to see more gable-roof houses? Check out Höller House in Alberschwende, Austria.