Authentic and modern farmhouse in the hilly countryside of Limburg

An original L-shaped farm building in the countryside of Limburg has been redeveloped into a residential home with a studio, exhibition hall, carport and holiday homes. The farm originally had a carre-farm layout; a typology often found in the Province of Limburg. A carre-farm consists of a central, usually square, courtyard enclosed by the farm buildings. The original shape of the carre-farm has been restored in a contemporary way by means of a continuous larch wood façade. Starting from the existing building, and continuing round to create a carport the new intervention completes the traditional carre-farm layout.

All functions are centrally located in the courtyard which becomes the heart of the site. The new heart is an essential part of the user experience throughout the whole complex. Externally, a non-symmetrical arrangement of anthracite concrete and Belgian block stone combined with local and native vegetation determine the composition of this enclosed outdoor area. The stepped levels are visible through the water system which flows characteristically through the courtyard. Internally, the old horse stable is transformed into a light and contemporary living space with an office. The addition of two large wooden Iroko openings, one framing the landscape the other framing the courtyard, maximize light and allow views through the building. In the middle of the building a stainless steel core is inserted which accommodates the kitchen, bathroom, toilet and storage space. Two round wooden stairwells connect the ground floor with the second floor. The new intermediate floor is constructed from large oak beams with oak flooring to match the existing materials. The original beams are retained where possible and left visible whilst allowing complete insulation of the roof and walls. The existing shed is converted into a spacious studio with a large round skylight, this flexible space can also be used for exhibitions and meetings.

Throughout the entire project we collaborated with local artisans, and used locally sourced materials and techniques. Where possible, original materials were reused creatively, for example; the old steel ledgers of the intermediate floor now form the new terrace structure, the original roof tiles are used for an artistic pavilion in the surrounding landscape and the removed bricks are used for a new gate in the landscape. The house is built according to the passive house principles and utilizes sustainable materials of high quality.

This project is a collaboration between architect Jeanne Dekkers and her son Anton Zoetmulder (architect) and daughter Elise Zoetmulder (designer). For the design they undertook in-depth research of the environment and its scenic and architectural history. As a result, the contemporary design seamlessly blends with the local landscape while highlighting the traditional qualities of the area through the historical shape of the building and the use of authentic materials.

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