Building the future on the foundation of the past
Extraordinary – that is exactly what your stay here will be. The large holiday home between Aachen and Liège is an inspiration for living outside the ordinary in more ways than one. While the architecture combines openness with cosiness, very specific criteria are applied to the materials used. In doing this, the owners communicate an important message.
Giving old things a new life
It was the sun shining through the gaping roof of the old cow barn onto the dusty drinking trough that triggered the owners Bea and Herman Machiels’ desire to create something new out of the old barn. The smell of hay and wood did the rest.
The couple had renovated a neighbouring half-timbered house using clay-earth building materials, so they already knew that the only option for them was to use the natural building material again. Above all, they were convinced by the pleasant indoor climate offered by earthen-clay walls.
Clay earth regulates humidity by absorbing water from the air and releasing it again when the humidity drops. Pollutants and allergens in the air are also reduced, and mould growth is prevented.
Wide-open spaces with cosy corners
With the Dutch architect Emmanuel Laugs, the Machiels created a spacious holiday home out of the dilapidated barn. The four bedrooms can accommodate up to eight people. The open floorplan living area offers you a cosy gathering place.
Whilst gazing through the large windows of the gable walls onto the surrounding orchards, charmingly exposed wood beams and half-timbered walls remind you of the house’s history.
Specific criteria for building materials and interior
The owners also decided on clay earth because it corresponds to their credo. In half-timbered construction, the building material is the traditional and sensible complement to the wooden supporting structure. As a moisture regulator, clay earth protects the wood from moisture damage. A special quality of clay is its recyclability. Even clay that was used many hundreds of years ago can be soaked in water and reused.
This means that the building material meets the criteria that the owners defined for the holiday home: building materials and interior accessories used in the house should be local or recycled.
For this reason, you walk on oak floorboards made from local wood, sleep in beds from a workshop in Limburg, sit on chairs made from recycled PET and use towels made from recycled cotton. “It may be a bit more time consuming, but not always more expensive to look for products that are made locally” explains the owner.Read more »
Local, recyclable and more – Claytec exceeds high standards
Its qualities in building biology and sustainability make clay earth a modern building material. Claytec also offers a variety of clay building products for modern construction methods that meet today’s requirements. During the renovation and expansion of the holiday home in Veurs, the architect introduced the owners to the variety of modern earth building materials.
In addition to the renovation of the half-timbering using classic clay earth construction methods, in which the compartments of the wooden framework were filled with a clay-plastered wattle and daub, clay-hemp panels were used as ceiling cladding. The drywall clay boards are screwed onto a wooden framework and the screws are spackled over.
Sections of the ceilings are used for the heating and cooling of the building. The radiant heating & cooling system was embedded in SanReMo clay plaster. This undercoat and topcoat plaster is particularly suitable for restoration, renovation and modernisation.
Some wall surfaces were given a fine finish using Clay Topcoat Plaster Coarse Bright with Straw. For others, YOSIMA clay designer plaster was used. Together with Claytec, the owner developed her own colour shade – “Bea White”. Like all 146 factory-standard shades offered, it is created exclusively utilizing the natural colours of clay earth.