when the team at hilberinkbosch architecten received the sad news that they would have to cut down seven ancient oak trees on their property in berlicum, the netherlands they decided to make the best of the situation. rather than selling the giant logs to a local paper factory, they chose to give them a new life behind their studio not far from where they once stood. as the dutch have done for centuries, hilberinkbosch decided to make a barn employing traditional techniques.

the sixteen-oak barn
all images by rené de wit

 

 

old trees are often the most desirable for carpenters: they produce the most refined lumber, which acquires more character with age. hilberinkbosch got to work, hiring a mobile sawmill. after some hard work, the wood was cut into structural timber for the frames and roof as well as planks for the façades. all of the tree was put to use, as illustrated in the diagram below. the interior sections (the strongest and highest quality) were used in the exposed structure of the humble barn, while the bark and exterior sections were employed elsewhere, embellishing the siding. the rest was chopped into firewood to heat the house in the coming winters. 

the sixteen-oak barn

 

 

the design of the barn comes as a departure from the traditional typology, incorporating an elongated concrete workbench and series of windows that complement the space nicely. while the great trees had fallen, this project gave them a new purpose and — given the barn’s sound construction — they should live on for another hundred years.

the sixteen-oak barn

the sixteen-oak barn

the sixteen-oak barn

the sixteen-oak barn

the sixteen-oak barn

the sixteen-oak barn

 

the sixteen-oak barn

the sixteen-oak barn

the sixteen-oak barn

 

 

project info:

 

name: the sixteen-oak barn
client: hilberinkbosch architecten (at own property)
design: hilberinkbosch architecten
architects: annemariken hilberink, geert bosch
collaborator: frenske wijnen
contractor: zandenbouw, aarle-rixtel
sawing: brabant hout
building period: may 2017 – january 2018
photography: rené de wit

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