Living outside the box

New family home on the Zealand coast from primus arkitekter

by James 17 December 2009
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    The plot is a partitioning of a larger plot belonging to an old whitewashed, thatched house belonging to the client's family. The family didn't want a fence to separate the two plots, thus the layout of the site plan needed to provide both separate and common spaces. The client wanted a light and spacious contemporary home for themselves and their 4 year-old daughter. The challenge was to create a house that could coexist with the old house, and at the same time provide intimacy and serenity.

    The solution was letting the building itself be the fence, and to introduce big skylights that would enable a relatively closed façade facing the other house. For the façade the architects chose oak, and experimented with treating it with iron sulphate to bring out the structure in the wood and darkening it. Iron sulphate also gives the yellow colour to the chalk on family's house. With 2 bedrooms the program amounted to a total of 75 m2 of living space.Working with the interior, the main focus was given to adding spatiality and experience of light to the relatively small program. The plan sets the bedrooms apart from the large living space and introduces an open hallway. Diagonal views stretch out through the whole building to enhance the experience of space.The large glazed openings incorporate the sky as a 5th façade. Large sliding doors allow the inside and outside to melt together.

    The balloon frame construction sits on the exposed concrete base. 30 x 30 mm oak lists wrap the building. The lists are treated with iron sulphate which darkens and enhances the structure of the wood. Floor boards are oak as well, whilst the insulation is mineral wool, roof 300 mm, walls 150 mm.Heating is provided by a heat pump integrated in the wall, reducing heating costs and CO2 emission. The 'sky-boxes' ventilate the space through a natural chimney effect. A cast iron stove is for additional heating.


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