House Inspiration: Modern Thatch

Everyone is familiar with traditional thatched roofs and although they are pretty, I do find them a little twee. However, these contemporary versions designed by Dutch architects Arjen Reas and Bureau B+B are undeniably striking and they illustrate how traditional vernacular materials can (and should) be updated in modern ways.

The first two images are of a domestic housing project called Living on the Edge, designed by Arjen Reas. Located on the outskirts of the city of Zoetermeer, the location, between city and countryside, inspired this house that blends urban and rural architecture. The dense fuzzy thatch, applied to every surface of the exterior is sculpted into a graphic interpretation of an archetypal house and punctuated in places by glass and white plaster.

The second two images show Het Entreehuis, designed by Bureau B+B. Also in the Netherlands, this house was inspired by agricultural barns of the local area and features a thatched roof that stops at a neat border of wood. With the thatch set flush inside a wooden frame, this modern interpretation creates a refined aesthetic and forces us to reconsider traditional materials and their usage.