In 2017 we were told that seven of the century-old oak trees in our yard were in bad shape. They had to be cut down. Instead of following the usual path and selling the trees to the paper industry, we decided to reinstate an ancient tradition. And so, by replacing a collage of obsolete shelters and sheds, we would, in line with our farm’s monumental character, build a new barn with locally harvested materials employing traditional techniques. Besides a couple of oak tree trunks we obtained from the nearby Wamberg estate, there would be enough timber to construct the new barn from the trees we had to cut down.
A mobile sawmill was brought to the yard and used to cut the fresh tree trunks into structural timber for the frames and roof as well as planks for the façades. For this we used the best quality wood from the trees’ core sections and went in search of suitable uses for the remaining, less durable parts.
Untreated timber, concrete and glass have been intermingled in various ways. The irregular dimensions of the wood used to build the formwork resulted in far from perfect concrete surfaces. Remnants of the sapwood formwork became embedded in the concrete and tannic acid from the fresh timber left discolorations.
The barn’s esthetics have been strongly influenced by coincidence. It lends this contemporary building a vital expression that merges old and new in a wonderful and extraordinary way.
links to publications:
More images of the plan can be found on the projectpage click here (in Dutch)
Hilberink Bosch architecten
foto credits: René de Wit