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Schuur & Wonen // Jelle de Jong Architekten

FR, The Netherlands

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Text description provided by the architects.

The current owner bought the farm in 2009 from the last farmer and selected the architect in the same year. In the design process several advisors were added to the team: an interior designer, a landscape designer, and building physics consultant. The farm, built in 1825, is beautifully situated just outside the town.

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Farms as such consist of a living space for the farmer and his family, stables and storage for the cows, and farmer products such as milk and butter, under one large roof. The “front house” (former living area of the farmer family) has been completely restored and converted into two apartments to be used separately.

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Modern comfort is added in the old beds in cupboards (bedstede): a small pantry and a bathroom. The former “milk basement” is reinstated by removing a false floor, and one “hatch window” has been reconstructed. To take advantage of the magnificent view a new window was added to the side of the house.In the old barn, where the cow stables, machines, and food once were, a new apartment is constructed.

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The program is organized by modern white volumes in contrast with the old barn, without touching the wood beam structure or the roof. More daylight and views are realized through a new facade of perforated aluminum panels, all of which are movable. This material replaces the (not original) brick wall with concrete windows from the 1970s.

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In the upper part a hole is spared from the large barn roof. Through the floor of this room on both sides daylight enters into the barn.The new interior is kept neutral. The wall, floor, and ceiling are intermediate between the view of the countryside, the barn, and the decoration of the interior.

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The volumes are white inside and colored separately, thus referred to as the classical “bedstede.”The change in function of the farm has also been reflected in the yard. Along the water is a new room with a boathouse made with an attached porch and adjoining terrace right on the water.

The main objective was to convert a barn for livestock to a residence building to enjoy the barn and scenery.

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The architectural concept is aimed to achieve a contrast between old and new.The program consists of two smaller bed and breakfast apartments that can accommodate two people each. The preparation of a meal itself is not possible here. In addition, in the barn a much larger apartment is made that can accommodate families of up to 10 people.

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It is also suitable for external workshops and sessions for companies. In addition to the main rooms and five bedrooms, a “boardroom” is equipped for workshops and conferences. The yard is now a residential garden but also a vegetable garden. Meals can be cooked with homegrown crops and herbs. Next to the new boathouse is a terrace at the waterfront.The use of the converted farmhouse has only just started since the summer of 2013.

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Therefore no information is yet available concerning energy use.The existing structure of the barn has been left untouched and can be used in the future for various purposes. Existing materials or durable new materials were used as much as possible, including the tiles on the roof, old bricks on the barn floor, and the Accoya wood cladding of the new volumes.
The front house has been restored and improved with good thermal insulation and the use of double glazing, all detailed respecting the original look and feel.

The concept of a new “house in the barn” has a positive influence on thermoregulation.

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The original roof and the new façade form a first shelter for strong cold winds and heat from the summer sun. The heating system for the property consists of a pellet stove.The characteristic elements of the house are all intact and remained fully utilized. The floors and ceiling are original.

© Jelle de Jong Architekten

© Jelle de Jong Architekten

Even the painting above the old fireplace was still present and has been restored.
The intrinsic quality of the barn is left intact and used to set the atmosphere in the large apartment. The barn is visible from everywhere in the new apartment, each time in a different way. The only intervention in the roof is the room with a view.

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This one gesture creates enough daylight in the barn while offering spectacular views over the countryside, something that was not possible before. The distinctive character of a closed massive orange roof in the landscape remains nevertheless.The vacancy of farms is a social issue in Friesland. Each year 120 farms lose their function.

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It is shown here that a proper transformation offers opportunities for a future life of a farm..

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