The house known as the tractor shed was built by HeathWalker, and yes it used to be a real tractor shed. The architecture firm turned it into a house clad in wood that had been cut from trees on the client’s own land and scorched with a blowtorch.
The house was built for an artist who grew up in a farmhouse who loves the open landscape and barn-like spaces, but also has a fascination for cozy, hidden spaces. HeathWalker took advantage of its precast concrete frame and agricultural proportions. Instead of being hidden in the walls and ceilings, the precast concrete elements of the former shed penetrated the interior and contrasted the new surfaces. Polished concrete floors have been added below and solid oak boards have been used on the upper level.
A restrained palette of materials remains as natural as possible. The simple structure has been divided into two floors of single and double rooms, with large living and kitchen areas below and bedrooms above. The dramatic scale of the barn is evident in the main studio and open plan kitchen. The lowered ceiling height in the adjoining dining area is intimate yet spacious and opens up to the garden and the landscape behind it.
The entrance to the house is hidden on its western elevation and replaces the large barn doors at the gable ends of the shed. Instead of doors, large windows now look out over the landscape. On the other side, a small hallway connects a library, a double-height living room, a dining room and a double-height kitchen, which are illuminated by windows at each end of the gable and skylights. On the first floor, the bedrooms use the sloping roof to create bright, open spaces with storage space and a dressing room in the eaves.