Barend Koolhaas

countryside house . Almen

Barend Koolhaas . photos: © Jeroen Musch . + dafne

This small house in the countryside is designed around a long panoramic window with a view into the garden and the surrounding landscape. The 17.5 m long, floor to ceiling, stretch of glass blurs the threshold between inside and outside.

The longitudinal frame guides the eye in a walk through the landscape; from a dense cluster of trees up close and out to the farm fields further away.
To capture the panorama in the best possible way the glass facade was placed at an angle, giving the house its characteristic triangular floor plan. The hypotenuse of the triangle is the glass wall, the adjacent side aligns with the side of the neighboring house abutting the site and the opposite side is the front facade which is designed to resemble the local barns.
Even though this house was built with a limited budget it manages to be very efficient with energy. In other words, it is very sustainable. A wooden construction with ample insulation and a ventilation system coupled to a heat exchanger prevent the house from losing its heat and keep its energy use low. In the summer the house can be naturally ventilated and see through sun screens keep out the sun whilst maintaining transparency. Almost all of the materials of the house are reusable and the wood for the facade was locally sourced.

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