Tuscany Barn House by Julian King Architect


A house centred around a bathroom representing the womb, designed by Brooklyn studio Julian King Architect, is under construction in Tuscany, Italy.

Called Tuscany Barn House, the project involved converting a barn into a residence for a retired writer.

The interior leads visitors on a spiraling route through the building, culminating in  the bathroom.

A skylight at one end of the bathroom's curved ceiling forms the focal point of the project.

Completion is expected in July 2010.

The project was awarded first prize in the Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition 2009.

The text below is from Julian King Architect:


Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition 2009

The winning design was the renovation of an old barn in Tuscany, Italy, into a place for the client (a writer) to retire in, and [re]write her life story, which investigates how perception, and the manipulation of it, can be used to convey meaning.

Perspectival illusions are used to imply an ulterior status of the structure-irradicating corners, bending walls, and re-locating the viewer between what the villa appears to be, and what it actually is.

Moving between the imagined and the real, the owner's life story is re-told, ultimately returning to a womb shaped bathroom, where, submerged in water, a small oculus reveals itself at one end of the amorphous vaulted ceiling, as more than a skylight, but as an idea incarnate-at its very inception.

Click for larger image

Posted on Monday January 18th 2010 at 1:00 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • jj

    Wow! Great concept, great presentation.

  • ktanleysubrick

    haha. this will be wonderfuol manifesto for simplicity and beauty. If someone really will live there, a few years later it could be a something more to show.

  • Wessel

    This is the most beautiful model I’ve ever seen! It is a whole new concept on how to visualize an interior. It fits the design very good; small, divine and introvert. Like a womb. Applause

  • EDA

    approach never seen before – beginning of a new paradigm

  • At this point, its almost cliche to post a comment on Dezeen that says, “Oh, that’s beautiful” or “Wow! Cool,” but I’m going to do it…just this once.

    Wow! Cool.

    I am very much enamored with the bas relief drawings/models. I hope they’re just that and not digital renderings. They’d be sumptuous made from plaster, graphite, and wood. Any one seen them? Are they models or drawings or digital?

  • MMM

    Nice. I like especially the bathroom.

  • yrag

    Exquisite. A lot of character in simple lines, inside and out

    I feel like it belongs next to Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp.

    I also think the models would look wonderful mounted on the walls of the house.

    Good work!

  • angry catalan

    I like the house, but I just don’t get the presentation. At all.

  • oren


  • marlt

    i believe i have seen this one before. i think it was the winner of this year’s shinkenchiku competition, jun aoki being the one-person jury.

  • see that
  • giang

    The presentation is overly simplified, but I appreciate raw quality of the drawings. They should have drawn the plans. etc, in illustrator or cad at least to bump up the line quality—

  • Eva

    They idea sounded wonderful but i don’t get how it works. Perhaps because I am not an architect?

  • Simon

    I think Zaha did this style of presentation first, although she didn’t use different materials but it is not a new style of presentation!………Sculptures have been doing this style of low level relief for centuries but out of stone!


  • Très beau.

  • popi vaki


  • tanya telford – T

    i find the ideas around this project fascinating, then was reading a few days ago about the ‘Living Architecture’ project, left me wondering how it could be good to have something like this incorporated in it too. Regardless, am thinking it will be good to see the finished result, even just photos.

  • me

    First prize was totally deserved!

  • it's fantastic…

  • Nathaniel 3X Rhine

    I aplaud you on a job well done, at least in presentation and theory. I am looking forward to it coming to life in the built form. I can hardly wait.

  • LovelyTuscany

    What a spectacular idea, and the drawings are fantastic.