Private Homes \ Family House, Joure, Friesland, The Netherlands

Our site sits on the outer edge of a suburban housing development which itself sits on the edge of this small Friesland town. The site is flat rectangular and projects on three sides into a small lake beyond which is a park and then the open countryside of the polder.

In looking for forms in the Dutch landscape we became conscious of the traditional combined farms and farmhouse - great single section buildings and in the somewhat dislocated environment of a housing estate we elected to emulate these forms with a simple building of an extruded section: a barrel vaulted space with two side sections.

The house is arranged on the site to give maximum private garden and is organised internally with a children's zone near the entrance and a parents zone towards the lake. At the centre, as a meeting place between parents and children, is a double height family kitchen / dining room which can open directly to the garden. This is a noisy place packed with the daily life of the family and in contrast is the quieter living room linked by sliding screens and fronting both the lake and garden. Above it is a mezzanine study with its own external stair access (not yet constructed) to the garden.

The construction is timber frame clad in western red cedar with a mill finished aluminium roof.

The house was completed in 1998.


Architects Richard Murphy, Hamish Ginn, Oliver Chapman
Engineers David Narro
Landscape Architect Klaas Noordhuis
Construction Cost £200,000
Client Mr and Mrs Van Hulten
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