Protected: Orchard House
Structural engineering
Pieters Bouwtechniek
Timber construction
Heko Spanten
Interior construction
Freek Kranenburg

The Orchard House is a contemporary house situated within the grounds of a century-old estate. The design of the house has been approached sensitively in response to its lush surroundings, while also acknowledging the collection of historical houses, barns, and stables already present on the property. Adding our clients’ wish for an old house, this resulted in the design of a new house with an old soul.

In close collaboration with Maartje Lammers from Earthbound Architecture, the design process began on-site. Two key elements were identified. The first was an old brick wall, which was being used to grow pears and separate the orchard from the trench, and the second was the property’s placement between an apple orchard and a vegetable garden. We drew inspiration from the wall’s multi-functionality and used it as the (visual) structure for the house: all of the crucial elements, including the bathroom, stairs, and kitchen, are cleverly placed alongside or within this wall, creating a unique flow that ties the entire house together. In addition, we designed two extensions that respond to the location between the two gardens: a small and private reading room on the side of the orchard, and an open dining area offering views of the vegetable garden.

Namelok & Earthbound (2023). The Orchard House on the Estate [illustration].

From the outside, the house presents itself with a traditional mansard roof at the front, paying homage to the roof shapes of the surrounding buildings. As the property extends towards the private garden at the back, the roof transforms into a lower, pavilion-like asymmetrical shape. This design approach creates a visual link to the property’s location within the estate while creating a contemporary feel for the new addition. The roof of the Orchard House is cladded with natural stone slates, with a greenish-grey color that reflects the sky, giving the large roof a lighter appearance. In our aim of building a sustainable and passive home, we integrated solar panels that were exclusively designed to match the slates’ color and shape. The result is a modern, sleek look that does not detract from the house’s natural charm.

Part of our approach in integrating this new building in its surroundings, was to use as many natural, bio-based materials as possible. The house is constructed with a complete timber framework with oak columns and beams carrying the roof beams and rafters. The structure was then filled with hempcrete blocks, a biocomposite building material made from hemp hurds and lime, which provide both insulation and structural support. The interior was finished with breathable and natural loam stucco, helping to reduce the need for mechanical climate systems. The use of natural materials not only reduces the building’s carbon footprint but also creates a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Inside, the house’s exterior ambiguity translates in an exciting layout full of peek-throughs and hidden features. From the main bedroom, at the front of the house, a rotating bookcase leads into the private reading room. The shelving system is inspired by the palmet used to grow pears in the adjacent orchard. The orchard is framed as an impressionist painting. On the other side of the house, the dining room is light and airy, giving a panoramic view of the garden. This creates a tranquil and serene atmosphere and makes for an excellent space to invite guests. One of the two fireplaces, located on the same level as the kitchen counter, not only warms up the dining room but serves as a stove as well. At the back of the house, a more private living area overlooks the garden and covered terrace, providing a peaceful retreat for relaxation. Large double doors at the back of the property can be opened to enhance the flow between the interior and exterior spaces, further amplifying the home’s connection to the natural surroundings. On the second floor, the house continues under the massive oak beams and provides space for an additional bedroom, bathroom, and study, as well as one more surprise: a hidden bedstee (box bed), offering a view of the starry night. Here, the house’s fully timber structure creeks as it should – in a century-old house.

Anonymous (1797). The Temple of Oud-Berkenrode, Noord-Hollands Archief (2015).
Namelok & Earthbound (2020). The Vegetable Garden in Winter.
P. van Galen (1643). Old Map of the 'Heerlijkheid', Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (1981).
Namelok & Earthbound (2020). First Impression [illustration].
Anonymous (1797). The Estate Temple, Noord-Hollands Archief (2015).
Namelok & Earthbound (2020). Roof Concept.
M.V. Gucht (1725). Birch Tree, Real Jardín Botánico Madrid (2020).
Namelok & Earthbound (2020). The Greenhouse.

From the outside, the house presents itself with a traditional mansard roof at the front, paying homage to the roof shapes of the surrounding buildings.

Namelok & Earthbound (2021). Model Picture 2.
Namelok & Earthbound (2020). The Garden.
Namelok & Earthbound (2023). Living Room Sketch [illustration].
Namelok & Earthbound (2020). The Wall.
Namelok & Earthbound (2021). Model Picture 3.

The main bedroom, at the front of the house, features a rotating bookcase that leads into a private reading room.

Anonymous (c. 1730). Het Roode Wapen, Noord-Hollands Archief (2015).
Namelok & Earthbound (2022). Under Construction 3.
Namelok & Earthbound (2022). Under Construction 2.
Namelok & Earthbound (2020). Detail Section [illustration].
Namelok & Earthbound (2023). Under Construction 6.
Namelok & Earthbound (2022). Under Construction 4.
Anonymous (1908). View on the Estate, Noord-Hollands Archief (2015).
Namelok & Earthbound (2020). Pears on the Wall.
Namelok & Earthbound (2023). Under Construction 5.
G.J. Dukker (1968). The Koetshuys From the Main Road, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (2022).
Namelok & Earthbound (2021). Model Picture 1.
Namelok & Earthbound (2022). Under Construction 1.
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