Balancing Barn

Balancing Barn

Balancing Barn, exterior

Architect: Mole Architects with MVDRV

Client: Living Architecture

Photographer: Living Architecture

The house was designed as one of Alain de Botton's Living Architecture projects as a holiday home for people who come to have a dialogue with landscape. Instead, the building has a voyeuristic character whereby visitors gaze out on, rather than engage with their surroundings.

As a place to visit rather than live in, it develops an idea of mismatch and imbalance. The consistent use of ash over walls, floors and ceilings gives a carved quality to the interior that is cleverly at odds with the slight defections that remind visitors that they are suspended in mid-air.

Creating buildings that can evoke such powerful feelings of obscure but pleasurable unease is very rare and the balancing barn hits the mark in a very unusual way.

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