Situated on the North Norfolk coast, this is a building to admire…
After my recent complaints about the Balancing Barn, specifically the mismatched blend of Dutch design and the Suffolk countryside, I came across Alain de Botton and Living Architecture’s latest development, the Long House.
Situated on the North Norfolk coast, this is a building to admire, incorporating a modern reinterpretation of medieval barn roofs with references to the local vernacular through the enclosing giant flint walls and extensive timber work.
This quotation from the Observer suggests great success in the architectural design:
“Insulated from the elements yet somehow part of the landscape. Which is perhaps the best experience a holiday house can offer.”
Now that is more like it…
A stunning piece of architecture, although not entirely to my taste…
For some reason I’d remembered the name of this architecturally impressive holiday-barn in Suffolk as the ‘hanging barn’, which makes it sound more like the title of a rural horror film than the first of Living Architecture’s holiday homes available to rent in the UK.
The aim of Living Architecture is to promote world-class modern architecture in rural Britain. Alain de Botton, writer (author of ‘The Architecture of Happiness’ amongst others), philosopher, television presenter and entrepreneur, is one of the co-founders.
In their own words: Clad in elegant silver tiles, the house dramatically cantilevers over the landscape, providing views from its huge panoramic windows over woods, ponds and meadows.
The Balancing Barn was designed by the Dutch architects MVRDV with interior design by the Dutch studio Makkink & Bey. “We wanted to showcase the best of Dutch design, so that there was an overall Dutch feel to the house”,says de Botton in an interview for homesandproperty.co.uk. That article also contains much more detail about and photographs of the barn.
A stunning piece of architecture, although not entirely to my taste and I find the barn an odd conundrum. An admirable project with a noble goal – an architecturally outstanding modern home that is both eye-opening and accessible to all able to pay for a stay, BUT why build a showcase of Dutch design in the Suffolk countryside?… I just don’t get that. Suffolk design, English or even British design I understand, but Dutch?