Barn conversions are all the rage these days. The exposed timber-framing and soaring ceilings have enjoyed the fawning attention of modernist architects of late, who retrofit the structures into something more suited for contemporary tastes.
Villa Schoorl, though, takes a different approach. The two-story, 400-square-meter (about 4,300 square feet) home nestles on a verdant site in the village of Schoorl, which gives the house its name and sits about an hour north of Amsterdam. It only looks like it was once a barn, with its pronounced gable and long, low form: Designed by Dutch firm Studio Prototype, the house was inspired by the region's vernacular barns and comprises four connected volumes shrouded in a dark, coated steel that gives it a delightful edge. It's Mies, down on the farm.
The interiors are lovely, if you're into the sort of spaces that flow freely one to the next, partition-free, and are awash in sunlight. The heaviness of the simple concrete floors is balanced by the high ceilings and wood accents throughout. Many of the interior spaces are double-height, with sightlines straight up to the residence's version of "rafters:" ceilings beamed with light-hued timber. Soaring custom storage (bookshelves!) and a mezzanine-level study help keep things human scaled.
Studio Prototype is known for clever remixes of traditional residential design: In 2014, we wrote about a design by the firm that looked as though it'd had a section pulled away, Jenga style.