Farmhouse – Treehouse by Atelier 010

This farmhouse in the rural east of the Netherlands has been in the client’s family for more than a hundred years. It used to house a family of eight but now it’s property of a new generation. The client couple wanted to preserve the farm but with adjustments to the modern age.

Living room: the hovering first floor covers seating area to create more intimacy


Dutch based Atelier 010 went to work on their functional, programmatic and spacial wishes. The existing structure of the farm had of a lot of rooms, many of which without daylight, stringently divided into two stories. This dark and maze-like structure concealed the typical roof-shape and the beautiful tree-trunk beams and columns.

Livingroom: on three sides the first floor was opened creating an intimate nest

Entrance: double high space to provide daylight to all spaces

The main aim of the design was to maximise the experience of these existing, previously non-visible, qualities. Balancing this new openness and the need for intimacy, the designers of Atelier 010 created a house in house concept. The biggest shell (farmhouse) housing the living spaces in an airy, open and light space. A smaller (tree house) shell creates intimate and warm spaces for the more private functions such as bedrooms and the bathroom.

Staircase leading form kitchen to first floor

Kitchen and dining room

Kitchen with staircase on the right

The voids and roof-lights created in the farmhouse provide daylight for both upper and lower floor. The windows in the tree house make visual connections to the rural surroundings as well as the living spaces on the lower floor. Even the bathtub offers a beautiful view on the surroundings.

Top of the staircase with a window overlooking the living room on the ground floor

Main bedroom with added roof-lights and window overlooking the living room

Atelier 010 offered the clients a wide variation of concepts to determine the correct balance in openness, intimacy, functionality, and program. The house-in-house concept was loved immediately by both clients and further adopted by the designers to tailor fit the client’s wishes and needs. Because of the tight budget the clients took the realisation of the project in their own hands and succeeded admirably.

View down from bedroom

Bathroom with view through outer facade

Client: private commision

Date: 2008 – 2014

Architect: Atelier 010

Photographer Caren Huygelen (

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