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    Eight inviting entrance halls that set the tone for the rest of the home

    In this lookbook, we’ve rounded up eight home interiors featuring entrance halls including a home in Devon with clay walls and a double-height entry space in Mexico.

    Entrance halls can be described as the space that is located directly inside of the main entry point into the home.
    These spaces are often hallways that lead to multiple different rooms in the home. They are typically where first impressions are made and can set the tone for the rest of the home.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring bathrooms with colourful features, homes with cross-laminated timber and mix-and-match flooring.
    Photo is by Markus LinderothTimjan, Sweden, by Johan Sundberg Arkitektur

    At this home in an apple orchard in Lund, Swedish practice Johan Sundberg Arkitektur applied a modern finish to the 1920s villa by adding an extension that contrasted with its 20th-century style.
    Plywood panelling covers the interior of the home and is paired with expanses of glass in the home’s entrance hall. A large clerestory window was placed above the entrance to the home, which is marked by a simple wood-framed glass door.
    Find out more about Timjan ›
    Photo is by Ramon PortelliMill House, Malta, by Valentino Architects
    Architecture studio Valentino Architects transformed a collection of 16th-century stone buildings in Malta into a family home that surrounds a central courtyard.
    From a large wooden door, original stone arches line the home’s entrance hall above a polished concrete floor that runs through the entirety of the building. A large planter decorates the entrance hall and visually links to the history of the original 1920s villa.
    Find out more about Mill House ›
    Photo is by Fabian MartinezCasa Tres Árboles, Mexico, by Direccion
    This home in Valle de Bravo, Mexico was renovated by Mexican studio Direccion and was designed to celebrate natural materials, the contrasts of light and shadows and convey a feeling of refuge and retreat.
    The entrance hall at Casa Tres Árboles has a wide span and a double height that allows light to be drawn into the space. Much like the rest of the home, the space was decorated with a simplistic yet rustic interior palette and uses black micro cement and wood across its floor.
    Find out more about Casa Tres Árboles ›
    Photo is by Adam ScottA Cloistered House, UK, by Turner Architects
    The walls at the entrance hall of A Cloistered House by British studio Turner Architects were covered in pale sage green that allow the home’s original dark wood flooring to be the focal feature of the space.
    Dado railings, skirting boards and arch moulding trims were painted white to contrast against the green walls and highlight the London home’s classical details. A black-painted bannister flanks the side of the wooden staircase.
    Find out more about A Cloistered House ›
    Photo is by German SáizConde Duque apartment, Spain, by Sierra + De La Higuera
    Madrid-based architecture studio Sierra + De La Higuera refurbished this apartment in its hometown by creating an open-plan living and dining arrangement, which are divided by a wood-clad entrance hall.
    Wood panelling covers the walls of the entrance hall and complements the mustard yellow glazed herringbone tiling that covers the floor of the space.
    Find out more about Conde Duque apartment ›
    Photo is by Michael SinclairPalace Gate apartment, UK, by Tala Fustok Studio
    This apartment in a Victorian mansion block that neighbours Hyde Park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, was transformed into a “calm sanctuary” by Tala Fustok Studio to balance the business of the city.
    The entrance hall was decorated with a woven chair, a large Venetian mirror and a stone plinth that was sourced from MAH Gallery in east London. A large vase from Flow Gallery was placed on top of the plinth and is host to a single stem.
    Find out more about Palace Gate apartment ›
    Photo is by Jim StephensonMade of Sand, UK, by Studio Weave
    London architecture office Studio Weave added a two-story timber-clad extension to a stone cottage in Devon, England. The extension was designed to provide accommodation and workspace for the client’s family and visitors.
    The interior of the extension and the walls of its entrance hall were clad in rust-coloured clay with subtle curving edges that blend into the door frames and walls. A bench lines the wall of the entrance hall and was topped with two pillows.
    Find out more about Made of Sand ›

    Washington DC home, US, by Colleen Healey
    An arched, tunnel-like hallway marks the entrance to this renovated home in Washington DC’s Logan Circle by architecture studio Colleen Healey Architecture.
    The white, tunnel-like entrance hall leads directly into an open-plan kitchen dining and living area that includes an exposed brick wall and diagonally laid flooring that helps to disguise the home’s skewed walls.
    Find out more about Washington DC home ›
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring split-level living areas, residential lifts and concrete bathrooms.

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    Dramatic gestures define Gallery Residence in Toronto by Burdifilek

    Carved French limestone and rolling glass doors were used by Toronto interiors studio Burdifilek to create theatrical effects in this house that frequently hosts events, concerts and dinner parties.

    Burdifilek was tasked with creating the interiors of a 25,000-square-foot (2,300-square-metre) home for a family who regularly entertain large numbers of guests to support a variety of charities.
    In this house designed for entertaining, cast glass doors are rolled back to signal the start of dinnerSpilt over three levels, the sprawling Gallery Residence is named for its large art collection.
    Sourced from galleries and furniture showrooms in London, Paris and New York, the works include originals and limited editions by artists including Donald Judd and Vincent Dubourg.
    Padded silk walls help to dampen ambient sounds in the dining roomBurdifilek co-founder Diego Burdi, who travelled with his clients to source these pieces, then needed to find ways to integrate them into the home without it feeling sterile and lifeless.

    “One of the main challenges was ensuring the home maintained a level of warmth and comfort with or without guests,” said the studio.
    A sinuous limestone staircase spirals around a vertical glass light fixture that hangs nine metres from the ceilingOf the different beige-toned materials combined throughout the residence, the most prominent is French limestone.
    It covers the hallway floors and several walls and forms a variety of sculptural architectural features.
    Limestone continues through the home and is carved to form other architectural features, including a minimalist fireplaceThese include a pared-back fireplace with curved edges, which are echoed in the base moulding, and a staircase that spirals up to connect all three floors.
    Hardwood flooring in a slightly darker hue was laid in the main living room, where the walls are lined with cashmere and seating is configured to spark casual conversations.
    In the “great room”, seating is arranged to encourage casual conversation”When moving between rooms, a visual fluidity is revealed through a harmonizing palette of natural woods, quarried stone, milky hues and soft textures, many of which derive from the world of fashion,” said Burdifilek.
    A conservatory with a fully glazed front and roof is used as a reception area for welcoming guests, where large potted trees bookend seating areas.
    Burdifilek co-founder Diego Burdi travelled to London, Paris and New York with his clients to source the artworks for the homeCustom-made glass doors by Jeff Goodman Studio that glow at night are rolled back to reveal the dining room.
    In this space, padded silk walls help to dampen ambient sounds and high-gloss furniture pieces include four china cabinets placed in each corner.
    Blackened bronze doorways are aligned to create sightlines through the residenceAt one end of the dining table, an opening frames a view of the sinuous staircase and the cut-glass pendant light by designer Matthew McCormick that descends 30 feet (nine metres) through the central void.
    “The craftsmanship behind each piece of convex glass enables the fixture to cast dazzling patterns of refracted light,” Burdifilek said.

    StudioAC designs Toronto house “disguised as a gallery”

    Tall portal doorways and full-height windows are trimmed in blackened bronze, adding dark accents to contrast the expanses of beige.
    “Understated tones are countered with dramatic sightlines that lead toward particular works of art, and custom finishes give each room its own mood and uniqueness,” the studio said.
    The kitchen is designed for large-volume catering, and includes four sinks and quartzite countertopsThe kitchen is set up for large-volume catering, with four sinks and space for up to 40 platings on translucent quartzite countertops.
    The home’s private areas are spread across its three storeys, and include an indoor lap pool, a family room clad in black-stained pine panels, and a primary bedroom decorated with French blue walls, seating and linens.
    The home’s private areas include a den clad in blackened pine panelsBurdifilek was founded by Diego Burdi and Paul Filek, and the studio has completed a variety of interior projects in its home city, and internationally.
    In Toronto, these encompass stores for outwear brand Moose Knuckles and oil specialist TA-ZE, while projects abroad include the vast Hyundai Seoul shopping mall.
    The photography is by Doublespace.
    Project credits:
    Interior design firm: BurdifilekFounder and creative director: Diego BurdiFounder and managing partner: Paul FilekProject manager and studio director: Tom YipDesign team: Michael Del Priore, senior concept designer; John Seo, senior concept designer; Sean Li, intermediate designer; Tom Yip, design development; Anna Nomerovsky, senior CAD specialist and production; Anna Jurkiewicz, senior CAD specialist and production; Yoonah Lee, CAD and material library specialistArchitect and builder: Brennan Custom HomesStone fabricator: EDM CanadaMillwork: Erik’s CabinetsLighting consultant: Marcel Dion Lighting DesignArt consultant: Jane Corkin of Corkin Gallery

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    Direccion brings sense of tranquility to Casa Tres Árboles in Valle de Bravo

    The designers at Mexican studio Direccion had “monastic sanctuary” in mind when revamping this weekend retreat in Valle de Bravo.

    The two-storey Casa Tres Árboles is designed to celebrate light and shadow contrasts, natural materials and calming colour tones.
    The double-height entrance hall features a floor of wood and black microcement”The goal of this project was to create a space in natural and warm tones, to convey a sense of refuge and retreat, of monastic sanctuary,” said designer Mariana Morales, founder of Direccion.
    Casa Tres Árboles was first built 25 years ago in the popular lakeside location, which is located two hours drive west of Mexico City, but the original design had become outdated.
    Pre-existing walls were removed to create a more open-plan living space”The client’s directive was to give the house a refreshed style, with updated finishes to accommodate more frequent visits, while maintaining the weekend getaway feel of the place,” said Morales.

    The renovation centred around opening up the interior, creating a more natural flow of light and movement through the different living spaces.
    Located below street level, the house’s entrance is a pivoting doorThis was achieved by not only removing walls, but also by adjusting the split-level floor so that the social spaces feel more connected.
    Key to the design was the entrance sequence. From the street, a staircase descends, leading around a tree and into a small sunken courtyard.
    A new wall screens the staircase, with an arched doorway leading through to a bedroomDireccion’s design enhances the sense of drama to this arrival. A former bathroom was removed to make space for a planter filled with leafy shrubs and ferns.
    From here, a pivoting door leads through to a double-height entrance hall topped by a glass dome and features a high-contrast floor-combing wood and black microcement.

    Matte-black house Las Golondrinas is a sanctuary for retirement in Valle de Bravo

    The space is framed by a new wall that hides away the previously open stairwell. An arched doorway leads through to a bedroom, while an aged wooden table presents a display of sculptural vases.
    “This decidedly sculptured hall is the prime space to pause and become surrounded by the material serenity of the house,” said Morales.
    A wooden seating bench runs alongside a 10-person dining tableThe kitchen, dining room and lounge space are all located beyond the hall, one step down, and now connect with a sundeck thanks to sliding glass doors.
    This open-plan layout was made possible by the addition of two structural columns, which take the place of load-bearing walls that previously divided the space.
    Dark walls help to create atmosphere in the bedroomsCasa Tres Árboles contains three en-suite bedrooms on the upper level, along with a small snug.
    Both these rooms and those on the ground floor are painted in dark shades that offer a natural counterpoint to the warm tones of the exposed wooden ceiling beams.
    A soft-red sofa located in the main living space is one of few splashes of colour.
    All four bedrooms have en-suite bathroomsArtworks are dotted throughout, including a painting by Mexican artist Beatriz Zamora, while dark crockery by artisanal craft makers Colectivo 1050 is displayed openly in the kitchen.
    “The colour palette integrates the flow of the elements and, with every piece and material carefully curated, creates a space for repose, meditation and balance,” added Morales.
    A snug is located on the upper levelValle de Bravo is home to some of Mexico’s best examples of housing design.
    Other memorable examples include the Y-shaped Casa de la Roca by Cadaval & Solà-Morales and the secluded Santana House by CC Arquitectos.
    The photography is by Fabian Martinez.

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    Alexander & Co carves out spaces for calm and play inside Pacific House

    Australian architecture practice Alexander & Co has overhauled this oceanside home in Sydney to make it more suitable for family life.

    Before its renovation, the five-bedroom house had a disjointed floor plan that was proving inefficient for its two young owners and their three children. Many of the rooms were also cut off from views of the garden and the ocean beyond.
    Pacific House’s kitchen is decked out with oakwood and different types of marble”[Pacific House] was substantial in structure but devoid of spirit and certainly absent of any operational utility,” said Alexander & Co’s principal architect Jeremy Bull.
    Tasked with making the home a “functional engineer of family life”, the practice decided to carve out areas for activity and play, alongside spaces with a calmer, more contemplative ambience for the adults.
    The cosy breakfast nook backs onto a curved windowAt the heart of the plan now sits an expansive kitchen. All of the cabinetry is made from warm-hued American oak, while panels of a paler European oak were laid across the ceiling.

    Jagged-edged pieces of Grigio Firma, Grigio Lana and Carrara marble were set into the kitchen floor.
    Arched doorways open onto the gardenInhabitants can eat at the central island or take a seat at the breakfast nook, which is tucked against a huge concave window.
    Its form nods to the architectural style of P&O – an offshoot of modernism that was popular in 1930s Sydney and drew on the streamlined curves of Pacific and Orient-line cruise ships.
    Neutral hues were applied throughout the formal dining areaTwo arched doors at the front of the kitchen grant access to the garden, where there’s an alfresco seating area.
    A new swimming pool was added in an excavation pit that had previously been created in the home’s driveway.

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    The rest of Pacific House’s ground floor includes a rumpus room for games, parties and recreation, plus a sophisticated dining area decked out in neutral hues.
    There’s also a spacious living area with Mario Bellini’s Camaleonda sofa for B&B Italia, which looks out across the ocean waves.
    An Afghan rug printed with abstract shapes and a couple of triangular marble coffee tables add to the more fun, graphic look that the practice sought to establish in this room.
    The living area is arranged to prioritise ocean vistasSpaces become slightly more muted on the floor above, which is accessed via an oakwood staircase.
    In the principal bedroom – which features another P&O-style curved window – walls are rendered in concrete.
    Grey terrazzo and marble was used to cover surfaces in the bathroom, clashing against the pattern of the grey mosaic flooring.
    The primary bedroom has a curved window and a greyscale en-suiteAlexander & Co has completed a number of other projects in Sydney including an Italian trattoria and most recently its own studio, which is housed in a converted Victorian-era residence.
    Formal workstations are built into the building’s basement, but the remaining residential-style floors accommodate a kitchen, living room and library where staff can brainstorm ideas.
    The photography is by Anson Smart.

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    Falken Reynolds applies beach-toned palette to Cadboro Bay House interiors

    Bringing the ocean inside was the primary goal of interiors studio Falken Reynolds when designing this waterfront home on Vancouver Island.

    The modern house at the southern tip of the island in British Columbia, Canada was completed by architect Chris Foyd of local firm Bo Form for an active couple with three sons.
    Maximising views of the ocean was Falken Reynold’s principal focus for the interiorsThe family relocated to Cadboro Bay from prairie city Edmonton, and wanted to maximise their coastal location after living so far from the sea.
    “The client had a clear vision for the house – a very pared back, durable and minimalist interior but with warmth and subtle sophistication,” said Falken Reynolds principal Chad Falkenberg, who led the design of the interiors.
    Low furniture helps to prevent blocking sightlines to the outdoorsMeasuring 5,400 square feet (501 square metres), the house appears like a bungalow from the street, while its lower level is tucked underneath and faces the ocean.

    Upstairs is an open-plan kitchen, dining and living room, a primary suite and two more bedrooms, as well as a study, powder room and mudroom.
    A selection of Danish and Italian midcentury pieces are placed throughout the homeDownstairs, at pool and beach level, are two further bedrooms, a large home gym, a media room and a rec room.
    The expansive views of the bay through huge floor-to-ceiling windows on both floors are the focus of every space.
    The neutral colours and materials echo the tones of the beach”We wanted to bring the peacefulness of the natural environment inside,” Falkenberg said. “When it came to the detailing we drew a lot of inspiration from modern Belgian architects who are masters at warm minimalism.”
    Low furniture, neutral tones and natural textures together create a casual and serene mood in harmony with the scenery outside.
    The primary suite is located on the upper level and overlooks the water”The palette is an extension of the beach: grays, whites and wood – light and desaturated for the oak millwork and hemlock ceilings – including the oak furniture in the dining room, living room and bedroom,” said Falkenberg.
    The pared-back materials, most of which were sourced locally, also help to highlight the family’s collection of mid-century Canadian art.

    Falken Reynolds gives Saint George House in Vancouver a “Canadian Nordic” feel

    Paintings displayed throughout the home add bold splashes of colour, along with pieces like a glass chandelier by Bocci over the dining table and green marble in the bathroom.
    Along with a selection of Danish and Italian modernist furniture designs, these details help to give the spacious home a more intimate feel.
    Green marble adds colour in the bathroom”The large open spaces and expansive views could easily have felt vacuous with the minimalist approach,” Falkenberg said.
    “The trick was to balance the clean lines with subtle details that add just the right layer of warmth to the spaces.”
    The house was designed by Bo Form and is positioned on the southern tip of Vancouver IslandBased in Vancouver, Falken Reynolds has completed several minimal residential interiors in and around its home city.
    They include a historic townhouse renovation, a house with 11 skylights and a loft apartment with a hidden sleeping nook.
    The photography is by Ema Peter Photography.
    Project credits:
    Interior design: Falken ReynoldsArchitect: Bo Form Architecture, Christian FoydLandscape design: Demitasse Garden Design

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    Butterfly House renovation contrasts traditional features with modern materials

    British studio Will Gamble Architects has modernised a heritage-listed terraced house in south London, adding a series of bespoke joinery elements that help to repurpose the existing living spaces.

    Known under the nickname Butterfly House, the project involved the refurbishment and reconfiguration of a Grade II-listed home in Lambeth for a couple of lawyers and their two young children.
    Will Gamble Architects has renovated the interior of Butterfly House in LondonThe building, which dates back to the 1840s, was originally conceived as a four-storey family home. But it had previously been knocked through to a neighbouring property and separated vertically into flats before being returned to a single dwelling.
    Will Gamble Architects was asked to create a contemporary home that makes the most of the available space while retaining the features and character of the existing architecture.
    Micro-cement covers the chimney breast in the dining room”Despite its heritage listing, the building had been messed around with and many of the original features were ripped out,” project architect Miles Kelsey told Dezeen.

    “We were required to preserve the proportions of any rooms that hadn’t changed too much and focused on identifying the minimal permissible alterations that could have the biggest spatial impact.”
    A built-in bench provides seating in the dining areaThe scheme returns Butterfly House to its original interior layout, with the kitchen and dining area on the ground floor, living spaces on the first floor and the bedrooms above.
    In order to adapt the existing floor plan to meet the clients’ needs, the architects repositioned some of the internal openings and introduced joinery elements with built-in doorways and storage.
    The original fireplace in the kitchen was retained”Because we were restricted in what we could do with a listed building, the bespoke joinery allowed us to maximise the potential of each space,” Kelsey added.
    “The joinery also enabled us to create a really clear and coherent design aesthetic throughout the project that responds to the clients’ request for natural and honest materials.”
    A white-painted stairway leads to the upper floorsA restrained, pared-back material palette is applied throughout the interior, with the oak joinery complemented by surfaces of micro-cement and stone.
    The neighbouring property was used as a reference for reinstating original features including the architraves and skirting, which stand out thanks to the sober treatment of the modern additions.

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    “Our idea was that the traditional decorative details should sit alongside more contemporary elements like the joinery to create a strong contrast between old and new,” said Kelsey.
    “We didn’t want to overly embellish the contemporary elements in order to maintain a sense of coherence across the whole project.”
    Light permeates the living room via its refurbished French doorsThe kitchen and dining room on the ground floor are linked by a large oak-framed opening that allows a view through the house towards the windows on the other side.
    A chimney breast in the dining room was reinstated and covered with a pale-grey micro-cement finish that is echoed in the dining table.
    Built-in storage on the other side of the room conceals a new doorBuilt-in cabinetry on either side of the chimney provides practical storage while a bench positioned along the opposite wall offers seating for the dining table.
    The living room on the first floor contains large refurbished French doors on one side and a newly instated door on the other side, set within a full-height storage element.
    The home’s custom joinery is made from warm oak woodThe pared-back material palette extends to the bedrooms on the two upper floors, where the oak joinery is used to create storage, headboards and partition walls such as the one separating the main bedroom from its en suite bathroom.
    Butterfly House takes its name from the typical roof form that tops the terraced property. It also references the bowed floors and ceilings uncovered during the renovation, which were remediated as part of the project.
    Wood also features in the bathrooms of Butterfly HouseWill Gamble founded his eponymous architecture and interiors studio in 2018. Based in Barnes, London, the firms works on commercial and residential projects, often involving the adaptation of historic structures for modern use.
    The practice was longlisted for emerging architecture studio of the year at the 2022 Dezeen Awards.
    Its previously completed projects include a glass-walled extension to a Georgian red-brick house and the transformation of a ruined 17-century parchment factory into a contemporary residence.
    The photography is by Nick Dearden.

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    Julia van Beuningen adds spiral stair in Dutch barn conversion

    A spiral staircase made from plywood is the showpiece of this thatched barn in Gelderland, the Netherlands, which architectural designer Julia van Beuningen has converted into a residence.

    Van Beuningen has overseen a complete transformation of the late 19th-century building, named Barn at the Ahof, turning it into a rental home with four bedrooms and a large open-plan living space.
    The plywood staircase was produced by manufacturer EeStairsThe plywood staircase, produced by manufacturer EeStairs, sits at the heart of the floor plan. With its precise curved geometry and slender components, it offers a playful contrast with the barn’s rustic wooden columns and beams.
    “We thought, if we’re going to do something, we have to do it properly,” Van Beuningen told Dezeen.
    The staircase leads up to a new first floor within the converted barn”This is very different and very unusual in a barn like this,” Van Beuningen added. “It’s something you either love or hate, but it’s definitely a statement.”

    Barn at the Ahof is one of several buildings on an ancient farming estate named Landgoed Appel that Van Beuningen inherited from her family.
    She is planning to overhaul the entire site through a mix of rebuilds and refurbishments and create a series of low-energy houses that can be used for either long-term or holiday rentals.
    An open-plan living space occupies the ground floorAs the barn had been previously renovated approximately 10 years ago, it didn’t require as much work as some of the other properties on the estate.
    Van Beuningen is not a qualified architect – she is primarily a cellist and works in architecture part-time – so she enlisted local studio Flip Wentink Architecten to oversee the planning stages.
    However, she decided to manage the detailed-design phase herself, adding in extra details like the spiral staircase and some built-in joinery elements.
    The first floor provides two bedrooms and bathroomsOn the ground floor, the staircase creates a divide between a dining area and a lounge with a wood-burning stove. A minimal steel kitchen island runs along the side of this space.
    Also on this storey is an accessible bedroom and bathroom suite.
    The newly added first floor, which is much smaller in size, accommodates two additional bedrooms and bathrooms.
    Bespoke joinery provides in-built storageVan Beuningen tried to use simple natural materials wherever possible.
    As well as the plywood staircase and joinery, the renovated barn features walls of flax and lime plaster.

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    “It’s quite a proud building,” said the designer, “and it’s quite strong and industrial.”
    “I wanted to respect this industrial nature, which is not easy when adding in a new floor that is quite a heavy element. So I thought we should be quite humble in terms of materials.”
    Glazing skirts the edge of the first-floor bedroomsClever glazing details help to elevate the design.
    Highlights include large glass doors that can be concealed behind stable-style shutters, tall and slender skylights, and a narrow strip of glazing that skirts the edge of the first floor.
    A third bedroom is located on the ground floorExternally, the building has a more traditional appearance thanks to its thatched roof and red brick walls.
    Barn at the Ahof is the second completed building at the Landgoed Appel estate, following the refurbishment of the former bakehouse. Still to come is the overhauled farmhouse, revamped sheep shed and a new-build barn.
    Large glass doors are fronted by stable-style shuttersEnvironmental sustainability is a key concern for Van Beuningen, so all of the buildings are being designed to incorporate solar panels and ground-source heat pumps.
    Some sections of the estate have been rewilded, while ancient wetlands have been reinstated.
    Skylights puncture the traditional thatch roofVan Beuningen hopes the project can pave the way for more sustainable tourism in Dutch rural communities. At a time when the government is restricting the farming industry, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, she hopes to show farmers can explore other revenue streams.
    “It’s really a long-term project in that sense,” she added.
    Other recent barn conversions featured on Dezeen include the stone Woodthorpe Stables in Surrey by Delve Architects and North River Architecture’s extension of an 18th-century farm building in New York.
    The photography is by Alex Baxter.
    Project credits
    Client: Landgoed AppelArchitect: Flip Wentink ArchitectenInterior architect: Julia van BeuningenStructural engineer: Peter Rommers/Luuk van Doeveren ArchitektuurM&E consultant: Peter RommersQuantity surveyor: Peter RommersLighting consultant: Julia van BeuningenStaircase engineering/fabrication: EeStairs

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    Td-Atelier and Endo Shorijo Design transform interior of traditional machiya house in Kyoto

    Japanese design studios Td-Atelier and Endo Shorijo Design have renovated a century-old machiya townhouse in Kyoto with minimal interiors that intend to honour the home’s existing architecture.

    Called House in Marutamachi, the Japanese house was built over 120 years ago and is arranged across two floors on a long and narrow site.
    House in Marutamachi is a traditional machiya house in KyotoTucked between two other residential properties, the house is an example of the wooden machiya townhouses that were once common in Japan’s historical capital Kyoto but are now at risk of going extinct.
    “Traditional Kyoto townhouses are being destroyed at a pace of 800 houses a year,” Td-Atelier explained.
    “Old buildings don’t match modern life. However, we want to stop the decline of Kyoto townhouses by fusing tradition, design and new life.”

    The kitchen is encased in a white volumeTd-Atelier and Endo Shorijo Design dressed House in Marutamachi’s interior with new components including sleek tiles and geometric furniture alongside materials reused from the original house, as seen in the traditional team room.
    The studios retained the building’s wooden columns and beams but added white volumes to house rooms including the kitchen and study to avoid disturbing the existing architecture with harsh structural materials.
    The tea room was constructed using materials reused from the original buildingThese variously sized cubes were designed to mimic the contrasting heights of buildings in a cityscape.
    “The gaps and omissions created between the volume group and the existing columns, beams, walls and floors create continuity in the space,” Td-Atelier said.

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    Throughout the house, Td-Atelier and Endo Shorijo Design adopted a minimal material and colour palette including a combination of light and dark woods alongside smooth concrete.
    A thin, sculptural light is suspended above the timber breakfast bar on the second floor, where occupants can sit on clusters of subtle-coloured stools.
    Original features were maintained in the gardenOutside, a plant-filled garden features elements from the building’s original architecture such as sandy-hued lanterns and a chōzubachi – a traditional stone water bowl historically used for washing hands before a tea ceremony.
    House in Marutamachi was shortlisted for house interior of the year at the 2022 Dezeen Awards.
    Dezeen recently announced the winners of this year’s interiors categories, who are now competing to win the overall interiors project of the year award.
    The photography is by Matsumura Kohei.

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