Writing about McCreanor Lavington’s Langerak reminded me of another Dutch project we came across a couple of weeks ago at Lucas Hickman Smith while researching ‘contemporary thatch’. Bureau B&B’s ‘Entreehuis’ was published on the excellent

The thatch of Het Entreehuis (below left) is very neatly ‘tucked-in’, with built-up verge and eaves masking its depth so it appears as an abstract textured plane. Perhaps in contrast to Langerak, there’s something quite deliberately ‘agricultural’ or barn-like about this one. We rather liked the slatted fold-up shutters, too. While trying to re-find the Entreehuis for this post I stumbled across another thatched house in the Netherlands, by Arjen Reas (below right), who (unlike Bureau B&B) is clearly enjoying the essential thickness of the thatch, as well as its texture. Very ‘Noggin the Nog’. In a good way!

Proctor Matthews’ much-published ‘Abode’ in Harlow was the only UK example of a contemporary thatched roof I had in mind…until a few days ago, when I came across this project (below) by Glen Howells for a new house in Warwickshire, recently granted planning permission under PPS7 – the so called ‘Gummer Law’ – which allows exceptional consents to be granted for one-off houses of outstanding and innovative design. The thatched roof is retractable, opening the pool area to the sky. A strong idea…but somehow it doesn’t feel like the rest of the house has fully come to terms with its swanky straw hat!

Anyway, this sample of contemporary thatch has served as a useful segue into some thoughts on local building materials, and beyond that, ‘local distinctiveness’. Watch this space.

Thatch-Fest #2 here.

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