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Balancing barn, Suffolk, 2010

Mole Architects have collaborated with internationally renowned Dutch Architects MVRDV on this holiday house for clients Living Architecture. The 35m long house is balanced on the edge of a slope, with half of its length cantilevered out over a meadow 5m below. At the furthestmost point is a living room with large windows and a glazed floor and large rooflight. The 4 bedroom house is clad in reflective stainless steel, and internally lined with solid ash floors and ash veneered plywood to walls and ceilings. The experience of the house is at once familiar and exhilarating. Interiors were furnished by Studio Makkink & Bey.

 

The house is held up with a steel truss, much like those used in bridge construction.  At the ‘land’ side, a heavy concrete block is cast into the base of the truss to support the 18m long cantilever. The visual trick- of balancing the building on the edge of the hill- is made vivid by the movement at the end of the house; a slight tremor reminds one of the feat of suspension.

 

Photography: Chris Wright, Edward Sumner, Mole

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Awards

  • RIBA Award 2011
  • Shortlisted: RIBA Manser Medal 2011
  • Shortlisted: Brit Insurance Design of the Year Awards 2011
Balancing barn site plan
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