paolo gianfrancesco: the barn house vf
may 04, 2009
paolo gianfrancesco: the barn house vf


the barn house by paolo gianfrancesco
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco

paolo gianfrancesco is a young architect currently based in iceland. he recently designed
‘the barn house VF’, a small unit in the isolated icelandic west fjords.
aðalvík beach is extremely north and is one of the most remote places in iceland.
the location calls for a choice of light wood frame modules because of the inaccessibility
of the beach; the only access is during the summer by sea with small fishing boats.

the aim of the project was to build on the original site of an old barn house. the main wood
module is based on a static arch form repeated along the main axis. great parts of the
components are based on simple rectangular sections (15/25×150 mm) of hard grey wood.
the simple form comes from the analysis of the icelandic barn house heritage that perfectly fits
the area.

the idealization was carried out in various simplification phases. the aim was to find an
essential form, able to describe the location´s equilibrium and austerity. there are no details
distracting the eye from the house´s elementary form. it is a primitive form that belongs to
a collective imagery.

the gables present two screens to the landscape. the barn house serves as a place of observation,
a silent refuge. it is made to have minimum impact on the landscape so the eye slides past when
looked at from far away. 

the house will only be used in summer time and therefore is provided with shutters that transform
it in a closed volume casting an elegant shadow on the landscape. the corrugated aluminium roof
is hidden by the wood shell, which gives rhythm to shadow. the top level is shifted to create a
balcony and an entrance leaving a compact wooden mass.


the barn house – back view
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house – side view
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house opening system
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


assembly and construction of the barn house
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


assembly and construction of the barn house
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house – section
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house in summer time
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house in summer time
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house – side view
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house opening
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house – section
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house volumes
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house 
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco

the barn house in summer time
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house in summer time
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house ground floor plan
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco


the barn house 1st level floor plan
image courtesy paolo gianfrancesco

comments policy
LOG IN VIA
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library