- Sustainable Architecture
- MVRDV: Balancing Barn
The “Balancing Barn” is a holiday home for 2 to 8 people near a small lake in Thorington, Suffolk.
The building, which minimises the amount of land it occupies, was built for Living Architecture of Britain as part of an initiative in which the enterprise commissioned world-famous architects to design holiday homes inspired by contemporary architecture in locations of particular environmental or cultural value.
As we approach it from the road, the building looks like a small country cabin for two people, but as we move closer we realise how deep it is, 30 metres, with 15 metres jutting out on a weight-bearing beam, following the natural slope of the land.
We enter the home on the ground floor only to find that by the time we get to the back of the volume, we are at the same height as the trees, suspended over the lawn. Halfway through the overhanging part of the house is a trapdoor for direct access to the garden.The house has a strong visual impact but fits well into its surroundings thanks to its shape recalling a traditional farmhouse with a gabled roof, while the trees covering the sides are reflected in its metal cladding.To offer the occupants an exciting new experience in harmony with nature, no compromises are made when it comes to sustainability: the volume is well-insulated, ventilation is provided with heat recovery and the home is heated by a geothermal heat pump supplemented by a woodstove. The result is a truly relaxing atmosphere surrounded by trees.
Design: MVRDV, Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries with Frans de Witte and Gijs Rikken, http://www.mvrdv.nl
Co-Architect: Mole Architects, Cambridge, UK
Landscape Architect: The Landscape Partnership
Location: Thorington Suffolk, UK
Photographs: Edmund Sumner
Related links: http://www.floornature.com/overview-architecture-news/news-mvrdv-balancing-barn-5565/