Dutch architecture office Eek en Dekkers has completed a barn-like house in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, featuring a large, open interior punctuated by volumes containing more intimate or private rooms.
The studio headed by designer Piet Hein Eek and architect Iggie Dekkers designed House R for a family who wanted a simple home containing large social areas along with opportunities to spend time alone.
The house is situated next to woodland in a neighbourhood where the majority of the homes are designed as basic white volumes. Eek en Dekkers set out to create something different that would evoke both the spaciousness and the appearance of a barn.
“The barn distinguishes itself from the environment by its simplicity and a 100 per cent focus on the quality for the family who lives in it,” Dekkers told Dezeen.
The house is clad in profiled anodised aluminium that was chosen to recall the corrugated metal typically used to weatherproof agricultural buildings.
“The nice thing about a barn is that it’s made in a pragmatic manner in terms of costs and durability,” Dekkers added. “Normally barns have rough details, but our challenge was to create really refined details with an industrial material.”
The house’s interior is opened up as much as possible to create generous volumes. Double-height living areas feature ceilings that follow the roof’s internal pitch to enhance this sense of spaciousness.
The architects chose to raise the main floor 80 centimetres above the ground level to allow for a basement below. A studio and TV room on this level feature full-height windows that look onto courtyard gardens.
Elevating the house above ground level improved sight lines and increased the amount of natural light that enters the living spaces.
The building was also pushed towards the rear of the lot, to prevent it being overshadowed by the nearby trees and neighbouring properties.
An entrance hall leads through to the main living area, which contains a large kitchen and dining area overlooked by a mezzanine study. A staircase with open treads connects the different levels and maintains views throughout the house.
A lounge and play area on either side of the entrance hall can be closed off using glazed sliding doors. Most of the time the doors remain open so that the spaces feel connected to the rest of the house.
Window treatments on each floor are carefully adapted to the functional requirements of the various spaces, ensuring appropriate levels of daylight and privacy.
The basement openings protrude slightly from the facade to optimise the amount of light that enters, while the ground floor features frameless windows and sliding doors that enhance the sense of connection with the garden and the forest.
On the upper floor housing the bedrooms, the windows are set back into the facade and are much smaller in size to maintain privacy and remove the need for additional shading equipment.
Hein Eek and Dekkers launched their architectural studio in 2015 following the completion of their own multipurpose building in Eindhoven that contains a restaurant, gallery and workshop where Hein Eek creates his furniture designs.
The studio is involved in redevelopment and renovation as well as new construction.
In 2015, Hein Eek told Dezeen he felt justified in engaging with architecture as a designer because most architects are “not interested” in construction and instead produce drawings that other people have to figure out how to build.
Previously completed projects by Eek en Dekkers include the transformation of a Friesian barn in the village of Woudsend into a guesthouse with an exposed timber roof.
The photography is by Thomas Mayer.
Architect: Eek en Dekkers
Contractor: Soetens Bouwbedrijf
Structural engineer: Archimedes Bouwadvies BV
Installation advice: Duurzame Installaties Architecten
Interior design: Studio of Things x studio Jeroen Wand
Kitchen design: Max Lipsey