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Open Concept Timber Frame Farmhouse

Built in 2012 by Annabau Architects and located in Brandenburg, Germany the Hauss Crussow is a timber frame home that consists of a main house and outbuildings. The main house is a large open space that is divided into zones of a living room, kitchen, study, hall and entrance area. These zones are somewhat separated from each other by a solid central core of reinforced pre-cast concrete filigree slabs that house the main washroom and the powder room. Attached to the central concrete core is a wood fireplace for heating the home. The large open area is supported by laminated wooden trusses that span over a 9 meter area (29.25 feet) and create an interesting repeat pattern with the Fibreboard ceiling panels covering the space between them. A Knotty Pine floor is clear coated to retain its natural two-tone colouring and showcase the textural effect of the knots. The space is large, open and neutral, the run of windows along the west wall allow the surrounding landscape to showcase a wall of green.

The long bank of windows is divided to allow support posts to line up with the ceiling trusses in an uninterrupted and continuous line.
The bank of windows is set back from the support structure, creating a continuous surface that can be used either as a place to sit and enjoy the view, or as a display area. Below the wall of windows is a shelving system to hold the owners collection of books and decorative items. The window wall also incorporates a dropped ceiling that follows the line of the deep sill. The post and beams cut through the dropped ceiling. With the visually broken line of the laminated posts their tapered effect is not a predominant feature.
Tucked between the window shelving system and the central concrete core is the kitchen area. A bank of cupboards and two rows of open shelves define the storage area. The cupboards are clad in the same knotty pine as the floor with the laminated panels running horizontally and opposite to the floor. This single wall Galley Kitchen is compact and small but appears much bigger due to the open concept of the building.
Although the bathroom is encased in a central core of concrete is kept light and bright by the skylights that line both sides of the ceiling. The building materials of the room are the design features and the exposed natural concrete, combined with the white fixtures gives the room an organic and spa like sauna feeling.
The East side of the main building opens up to a central courtyard along the complete length of its wall. Here, the prefabricated wood posts also incorporate a tapered stance where the tops of the posts are wider then the bottom. Standing tall and proud without any visual interruption, the beams become a sculptural feature of the wall.
The large central courtyard allows plenty of light to enter the home while retaining complete privacy. Across the courtyard the outbuildings can be seen.
Both ends of the home are treated symmetrically. From both this view looking South and the previous view looking North, a door is visible that leads to one of two rooms located at each end of the home.
The Knotty Pine flooring continues through into the end rooms and with the door open the spaces appear to continue uninterrupted. From this vantage point the single wall galley kitchen is visible tucked in behind the concrete core.
Just outside the wall of windows is a deck that is approximately 3 meters or 10 feet wide and runs the complete length of the wall. A corrugated Fiberboard exterior facing creates an interesting contrast to the laminated wood posts and beams as well as the wood decking and fencing.
The main house opens up to a large courtyard. Across the courtyard is the outbuilding and to create a enclosed area the two spans between the buildings are fenced off with a large gateway for access. Although the two buildings are not symmetrical they have a sense of balance with their identical siding and roofing. .On the outbuilding a long window of corrugated plastic lets the natural light enter and allows for a view out.
The corrugated window repeats the pattern of the corrugated fibreboard treatment on the exterior of the buildings.
The outbuilding is divided into 3 sections. The central section is where the firewood is stored. Each section has a doorway that joins it to the next section. The exposed beams against the corrugated fibreboard create a visually appealing look to this otherwise utilitarian space.
The end sections to the outbuilding are treated differently then the rest of the structure. These end walls are covered in rough larch wood planks
The corrugated plastic strip of window on the eastside of the outbuilding and the wall of windows on the west wall of the main building continue the visual balance of the structures.
The brief was to build a spacious timber constructed private residence in the eastern Uckermark in rural Brandenburg. I think the architects succeeded in the brief by creating a 200 square meter home that is both open in concept and at the same time enclosed for privacy,
The Floor Plan
Annabau Architects
Photographs by Hanns Joosten


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