The house project, commissioned by a young local family, involved an old T-shaped farm building in Zutphen, in the east of the country. The architects wanted to avoid treating the old and the new wing in different ways by designing the family house and the shed as two separate spaces. Instead, they redesigned certain parts and expanded the complex, aiming to create a structure with a strong single identity. In order to achieve this, they began by replacing the old farm’s livestock barn with a new wing for the house, aiming to treat it as an integral part of the home.

Principal Bjarne Mastenbroek and his team chose to retain the refurbished older building’s thatched roof -above the main living spaces of the complex -in order to keep the complex’s historical continuity. The main farm building was perfectly restored and fitted with all the necessary equipment for a modern family house. However, the new volume was not as conventional, having a tilted shape that was the result of a drag-and- pull perspective distortion. Nonetheless, visually and in plan, it still served as one part of the traditional T-shape of the historic complex. The new building is constructed using prefabricated wood plates: contained beneath its steep roof are a large open-plan kitchen space and the house’s main entrance, as well as a workroom, guest room and storage area. A large conservatory on the garden side also includes the main entrance and separates visually the kitchen and dining areas from the rest of the house. By using timber in various forms throughout the complex, and especially in the redesigned part, the architects created a sense of unity. While the roof and elevations are all clad in horizontal timber laths, wood is also used in the interior, the detailing and finishes.
Private client
Zutphen, NL
2002 - 2004
Christian Richters, SeARCH
Achterhoek Architecture Prize 2005