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SeARCH Architects Convert Rustic Barn Into Sun-Drenched Living Quarters
A new take on a familiar typology, the architects at SeARCH have converted this old farmyard in the Netherlands into a unique housing complex called the Wolzak Farm. Hoping to stay in-tune with the rustic feel of the original buildings and the surrounding fields, founding architect Bjarne Mastenbroek rehabilitated part of the existing barn, while constructing an addition that could join all the existing structures into a unified home. The resulting structure is a modern beauty that pays respect to the tradition of agrarian architecture.
Mastenbroek first removed the shabby livestock barn, replacing it with a new structure that joins the main building to the others, in a slightly skewed T-formation. The original “main building” has been converted into living quarters and private bedrooms. The new extension has been constructed from prefabricated wooden panels. The home plays host to a large open-plan kitchen, a work room and a guest bedroom.
The wooden slats of the extension are interrupted halfway down with floor-to-roof windows/skylights, which allow natural light permeates the interior to illuminate the entire addition. This conservatory-like portion separates the private residential area from the workspace and garden shed.
To maintain the farm-fresh rustic feel, exposed timber continues throughout the interior — from the uniform slats to the natural misshapen beams that once supported the barn structure.
Outside of the complex, Mastenbroek left the freestanding barn as is. Originally intended for a guest house, plans are to turn it into a swimming pool. The Wolzak residence has the appearance of being both closed and open, with its large wall-to-roof windows, and slatted addition. Both modern and rustic, the conversion respects the original structure with an updated edge.
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