Balancing Barn by MVRDV and Mole Architects

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Dutch architects MVRDV with British practice Mole Architects have designed a cantilevered holiday home in Suffolk, UK.

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The project has been commissioned by Living Architecture as part of a series of holiday homes around the UK designed by established and emerging world-class architects. The homes, which will also include designs by Peter Zumthor, Jarmund and Vigsnæs Architects, NORD and Hopkins Architects, will be available for rent.

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The following text is from MVRDV followed by info about Living Architecture:

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Living Architecture and MVRDV present Balancing Barn, Suffolk, England

Living Architecture and MVRDV present the design for the Balancing Barn, a cantilevered holiday home near the village of Thorington in Suffolk, England. Living Architecture, a British organization devoted to architecture as experience, has commissioned a series of outstanding holiday homes in the UK. MVRDV and co-architect Mole Architects from Cambridge will create a house sympathetic in spirit and materials to the exceptional natural site, which will be available for holiday rental from 2010.

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The MVRDV project will be built on a beautiful site by a small lake in the English countryside near Thorington in Suffolk. From the road, the barn will be almost invisible; the front being only 7 metres wide, with a pitched roof, faces the long straight driveway approach, suggesting a small house with a traditional shape. The volume, however, has a length of 30 metres. At the midpoint it starts to cantilever over the descending slope; a balancing act made possible by the rigid structure of the building; resulting in 50% of the barn being in free space, and giving a wide view over the Suffolk landscape, adjacent lake and surrounding gardens. The long sides of the structure are well hidden by trees allowing privacy inside and around the barn. The exterior will be covered in a reflective material, resulting in the barn changing its exterior by reflecting the seasons.

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Within the interior and closest to the driveway, is a kitchen, and large dining room. A series of four double bedrooms follows, each with separate bathroom and toilet. In the very centre of the barn, the bedroom sequence is interrupted by a hidden staircase providing access to the garden beneath. In the far, cantilevered end of the barn, a large living space is created. Throughout all the rooms, full height sliding windows, roof lights and a glass floor, give wonderful views and access into the garden and surrounding landscape, and give the visitors the opportunity to connect with nature.

The barn responds through its architecture and engineering to the site condition and natural setting. The traditional barn shape and reflective metal sheeting take their references from the local building vernacular. Completion is planned in Spring 2010, when the house will be open for letting.

Living Architecture has commissioned other houses by Peter Zumthor, Jarmund and Vigsnæs Architects, NORD and Hopkins Architects.

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Here's some text about Living Architecture:

Living Architecture has asked a series of established and emerging world-class architects to build houses around the UK. The houses will be available to rent for holidays by the general public.

The inspiration for Living Architecture came from a desire for people to be able to experience what it is like to live, eat and sleep in a space designed by an outstanding architectural practice. Whilst there are examples of great modern buildings in Britain, they tend to be in places that one passes through (eg. airports, museums, offices), and the few modern houses that exist are almost all in private hands and cannot be visited. Living Architecture will start to open its houses for holiday rentals in the spring of 2010. Further information can be found at www.living-architecture.co.uk.

The Living Architecture team comprises of chairman, Dickon Robinson, director, Mark Robinson and executive architect, Meredith Bowles (Mole Architects). The advisory team are Stuart Lipton, property developer, ex chairman CABE; Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash; Ambassador Alexis Lautenberg, Swiss ambassador to the UK; Michael Morris, co-director of Artangel; Alain de Botton, writer and architectural critic and Peter Rogers, director of Stanhope.

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  • http://www.soulofautumn87.deviantART.com Soul Of Autumn

    it’s a mirror? I’d like to see wood instead of it. Overall nice simply project

  • Richie

    Is anybody actually going to use that space underneath? The image of the kid on the swing is evocative but I would imagine that space would not be especially comfortable with the cantilever looming over you like that.

  • MarkJ

    There’s something very Monty Python about the first image, with girl on the swing underneath the mass of the cantilevered room.

  • zetre

    that’s a lot of effort to have somewhere to hang your swing..
    wonder what’s less usable, the space underneath the cantilevere or that 15m long corridor?

  • http://www.winifredwikkeling.com/blog royal creme

    I haven’t yet come around to this thing of having your home hanging over a cliff. It seems more respectful of nature to actually built something into that hill and be more fluid…

  • Aaron

    Is it just me or does it feel like a double-wide trailer that’s been ever so delicately forced to project from the side of a hill?

  • Seb

    A rather inelegant version of Ragazzi Architects house in Geres

    http://www.archdaily.com/1063/house-in-geres-graca-correia-y-roberto-ragazzi/#more-1063

  • R

    Did it really take two architecture firms to design this?!

    One of the firms could have at least focused on making decent images…

  • graham

    All I’m thinking of is the end credits of the original Italian Job. ;o)

  • Moxikito

    Souto Moura……

    Did it better!

  • a-haus

    I like to see a swimming pool under the cantilever. Make the glass floor operable and the living room becomes a diving platform!

    Why does the living room has to be so far so separated from the dining room and kitchen?

  • archcritic

    are those sheep?!….roffle. oh the details.

  • Fabián Todorovic

    Must see Cecilia Puga’s Bahia Azul House at: http://www.cristobalpalma.com/index.php?pag=47

  • RAFenne

    Anybody else noticed the similarity between this house and the House in Gerês by Correia Ragazzi Architects. Uncanny. http://www.contemporist.com/2009/02/08/house-in-geres-by-correia-ragazzi-architects/