The F House by Amaud Lacoste and Jerome Vincon of Lode Architecture is located in Normandie, France and is designed to take up a pre-existing footprint created by an old Barn on the one-hectare site. The pre-existing footprint is small and the resulting cabin consists of only 90sqm of living space so the architects had to be very creative in the location of all the necessary elements. A tiny home that embraces the simple life, F House nevertheless offers a comfy cozy and relaxing weekend lifestyle. After all, who wouldn’t want to take a bath next to a wood burning stove while overlooking the natural landscape beyond? In order to design the cabin with this type of luxury, the architects thought outside the box and positioned the freestanding soaker tub centrally in the middle of the living room as though it were a piece of stand alone art – and since the tub is a beautiful shape with LED lights allowing it to glow from within, it is truly a beautiful statement piece worthy of its prominent position.
F-house is a wood frame structure clad horizontally in red pine boards that stays true to the original barn’s 12mLx4.5mW proportions. The exterior aesthetics are also in keeping with the original barn and that choice allows the cabin to sit harmoniously within its environment as though it has been there forever rather than being newly built.
Since this is a weekend cabin, design emphasis was placed on passive qualities and favorable exposure with performing insulation to allow for fast heating. A ground heat exchanger insures the cabin has sufficient air renewal while the fan-operated heaters can be switched on via the homeowner’s smart phones, allowing them to adjust the heat during the winter – ensuring a comfortable temperature upon their arrival. Once settled in, additional heat can be created throughout the home using the 6kw wood-burning stove.
The materials used in the construction of F-house where chosen for their aesthetic qualities as well as their cost. The clear red pine siding, slate, and black zinc used on the exterior create a monochromatic palette that highlights the beautiful greens within the landscape.
The emphasize on the landscape allows the homeowners to feel at one with nature, letting them relax and unwind as they leave the hustle and bustle of their Monday to Friday city life behind.
The natural palette continues inside with the black rubber floor and the knotty plywood (Spruce) on the walls and ceiling. Only a few pieces of furniture and accessories add pops of color.
The home enters from the deck directly into the kitchen with only a passageway separating the glazings and the kitchen workstation. The kitchen has a Southwestern orientation to take advantage of the afternoon sun and has a large 4.2m working surface. The black tiled backsplash absorbs and retains the heat of the afternoon sun in the winter while the stainless steel shelving and accessories add a cheerful sheen against their black backdrop. During the summer when the doors are opened wide, natural breezes help cool the interior while also creating that sought-after connectivity between the indoor and outdoor zones.
The dining room, like the rest of the cabin is a simple space and features a contemporary table and bench set overlooking the landscape via a large span of glazings.
A centrally located stairwell leads to the 2nd floor and uses a safety net as a balustrade. The 2nd story is an open floor plan that can be divided up into two double bedrooms with a series of curtains. Flanking both sides of the stairwell is storage and a bunk area with two more sleeping zones. The floor is covered in foam rubber puzzle mats commonly used in martial arts rooms for the added sound absorption and soundproofing. Here, unlike the downstairs, windows are kept to a minimum located only at either end and below the bunks. This reduction of glazings provides a subdued light, an intimate setting and privacy from the outside. The shower and toilet are both located on the main level, as is that amazing tub!
The windows below the bunks appear as clerestory windows above the main entrance off of the large deck. The deck is the only appendage on the exterior of the building and by keeping the outside areas to a minimum the maintenance is also reduced to a minimum, as is the impact on the natural landscape.
Within each of the interior zones the landscape invites itself in through the various windows, offering both up-close and personal views as well as far away vistas. The black panels around the windows enhance each scene by creating a picture frame view for a picturesque weekend cabin.
Photography by Daniel Moulinet