Farm in Dutch Betuwe / reSET architecture

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Farm in Dutch Betuwe / reSET architecture

© Huub Smits© Huub Smits© Huub Smits© Huub Smits+ 13


  • Zoned Area of ​​this architecture project Zoned:
    280 m²

  • Year Year of realization of this architectural project

    Year:


    2011


  • Photographs

Text description provided by the architects. The office ‘reSET architecture’ has designed the renovation and extension of a small decaying farmhouse with a beautiful apple orchard, located in an idyllic location in the Dutch region of Betuwe. The simplicity and sobriety of the farm speaks volumes about how life in this area used to be and how a peasant family and their cattle must have lived here under one roof. This narrative quality does not make the building a monument that should be preserved as it is. It is the obvious presence in its surroundings that makes the farm distinctive and worth preserving. Therefore, the design strategy for the renovation of the abandoned farmhouse aims to maximize the connection with the landscape, direct and metaphorical.

© Huub Smits
© Huub Smits

A new annex is placed on the second line, behind the existing farmhouse, lower in height but with a strong presence, providing a backdrop to the farmhouse. In its updated context, the old building becomes more prominent in its surroundings. The architectural contrast between the farmhouse and its new added wing results in an ambiguous synergy. The character of the separate elements is easy to read, but that does not mean that their relationship is simple: recognizing the new changes to the old farmhouse and the local historical references to the elements of the new volume provide a multiple relationship between the two parts of all. The two main volumes are clearly recognizable, old and new, but linked in function, detail and materials.

© Huub Smits
© Huub Smits

In function, the differences are reinforced. The appendix generates space for redistribution of the program to the most appropriate location. Two different housing archetypes are combined; a landscape-oriented open-plan loft-style living space and a more private plan, arranged as bedrooms, in the existing farmhouse. In both cases, the openings in the wall are arranged in such a way as to offer an optimal view of the surrounding landscape. In the old building these are only small peepholes and in the new section large windows provide a clear visual connection to the orchard. The fronts of the extension have an identical structure, there is a base and an upper steel edge separated by a glass front or a wooden filling. The black wooden slat filling refers to the traditional barn facades of the region. The wooden filling has a predetermined pattern with slats of different heights so that the rural character obtains an elegant refinement.

plan
plan

This renovation clearly shows that it is possible to reuse an abandoned farmhouse and preserve it well without losing its original rural character. Simultaneously, the updated ensemble is enriched with bold contemporary architecture that creates additional qualities suited to today’s standard of living and expressing the mindset of the new residents.

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