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Balancing Barn, Thorington, Suffolk, United Kingdom

Wednesday 13 Oct 2010

Caught in the act…

Balancing Barn by MVRDV in Thorington, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Edmund Sumner 
Balancing Barn by MVRDV in Thorington, Suffolk, United Kingdom Balancing Barn by MVRDV in Thorington, Suffolk, United Kingdom Balancing Barn by MVRDV in Thorington, Suffolk, United Kingdom Balancing Barn by MVRDV in Thorington, Suffolk, United Kingdom Balancing Barn by MVRDV in Thorington, Suffolk, United Kingdom Balancing Barn by MVRDV in Thorington, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 10

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22/10/10 Philip, Hay River
To my aesthetic sense the cladding looks deformed and damaged, reminiscent of former trends of cellophane breadwrap clothing. Efforts of this type do not deserve publicity--let's see how architects can contribute to easing the dilemma of industrial civilization, rather than how they are hastening its demise through ecological ignorance.
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19/10/10 Paul, Boston
I designed something like that 22 years back. It was my first year in school.
I always thought it was being silly, wanting to do something so original, so different at such impressionable age. But no. Now I know I was upto something. I was simply ahead of time. I have been a genius.
19/10/10 Richard, Johannesburg
In what way does this structure add to architectural legacy ?
I think it does more harm than good in bringing architecture to the public. It makes us look elitist and smug with our private jokes. It is like a comedy with a single punch line.
19/10/10 PEEL living projects, Porto, PT
This is really the kind of attitude that serious architectonic publications should ignore.
Architect standing up in high heels as an opposite to nature.
What a blatant effort of self-promotion and waste, a major unecological approach... and painfully ugly.
Architecture isn't a matter of parking "funky" boxes in the landscape.
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19/10/10 J Evennett, N Norfolk
Stupid or what? So, what happened to the landscape. This is another example of gross, insensitive egotism that makes the profession a laughing stock in the publics' eye. In my third year we put an innocent up to proposing a five storey building that went up and down from it entrance rather than have lifts - now that WAS ahead of its time in 1959 - well except for Archigram...
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19/10/10 Matt, Sheffield
A Static Caravan - how quintessential of the English Countryside!
Well, it is available for holiday lets...
19/10/10 Sy Auerbach, Chevy Chase
I have written a number of comments in the past regarding unwarranted applause for "Iconic" projects; useless embellishment; crazy designs, and all the nonsence being "designed" since the computer entered the profession! So it delights me to
read these 7 comments above. I hope they were written by youngsters to the profession!
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18/10/10 Ralph Bennett, Washington DC
And for your next trick...?

On a corner perhaps...
18/10/10 Craig Comerford, Allouville Bellefosse
Whoop dee doo... A little bit of structural gymnastics equals architecture????How much does it cost to run; what is its carbon footprint? We all learned this stuff at architecture school; how relevant is this building in today's political or sociological climate? Looks like an architect playing in his bedroom...
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15/10/10 paulina, london
Architecture 101 - Form follows Function. Whimsy (of a half cantilevered barn instead of fully grounded or storeyed in the obviously abundant landscape) should proceed / preceed (delete as appropriate to iconic architecture)

Balancing Barn, a gleaming cantilevered holiday home in the classic English countryside is now complete 

Living Architecture, an organisation dedicated to bringing the British public into close contact with ambitious modern architectural projects, commissioned MVRDV in 2008 to design a contemporary structure in a quintessentially English countryside setting. Two years later and the Balancing Barn is complete, now available for holiday rentals via the Living Architecture website.

As the Barn is approached via a 300m driveway to the rear, the property appears deceptively average, its 15m cantilever concealed from view by vegetation. Only once visitors reach the end of the track does it become apparent that half of the 30m long building is suspended in mid-air. Coated in glistening sheet metal, the Balancing Barn retains the traditional barn form, ‘re-evaluating the countryside and making modern architecture accessible'.

With 50% of the structure cantilevering over a sharp slope, intelligent design was a key factor in this project to keep the Barn stable yet expressive. Balancing on a central concrete core, the section that sits on the ground is constructed from heavier materials than the cantilevered section. The surrounding natural landscape slopes with the hillside drop, meaning that the visitor finds themselves both at ground and tree level simultaneously. A swing has been installed at the very end of the suspended mass, incorporating an element of whimsy to an already playful abode.   

Capable of hosting a total of eight visitors in its four double bedrooms, the surprisingly spacious interior has been carefully designed by Studio Makkini & Bey who created a unique range of furnishings specifically tailored to the design concept using neutral, classic timber as a base material. Each room is themed, with partly pixilated and enlarged works by John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough forging ties between the past and current elements of British culture.  

Mole Architects were executive architects on this project and Studio Makkini & Bey collaborated on the interior design.

Sian Disson
News Editor

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)

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