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Timber-clad walls, floor & ceiling of unfurnished room
Inside timber clad apartment looking towards old building
Timber framed courtyard sliding doors

The Fabers Factories in Ryslinge, Denmark have been transformed into affordable housing using a ‘house within a house’ concept. Four new timber homes were designed to fit into the existing building, yet they sit completely seperate to it. This means that the uniqueness and history of the factory is retained and can be admired in contrast with the new homes. Timber was used to construct almost every single new component, with timber walls, floors, ceilings, structural elements and wood insulation.

Do you like the idea of creating homes within old buildings? Let me know in the comments below

Exterior of a white factory building with a brick chimney
Fabers factories brick exterior

Each of the timber ‘cores’ were designed as modular units and were installed into the building ‘shell’ using mechanical fixings which means they can be removed, reused and recycled if need be, plus this installation method also minimises the impact on the factory shell. The new dwellings have been built to be completely free standing of the existing factory and were constructed using a modular building method. This proved to be a cost effective and sustainable way to make use of an unused building which was falling into disrepair. It’s typically quite expensive to transform existing buildings so this model creates opportunities to rethink the way we value them.

There is also the important added benefit of saving old building stock from being demolished and ending up as construction waste.

Designed by architects Arcgency, the house within a house adaptive reuse development was a pilot project in collaboration with Ekolab and Aarhus School of Architecture to demonstrate the possibilities in creating new modular, affordable and sustainable homes. The building methods could be applied in a broad context and local architecture and township identities can be preserved.

Timber interior metal staircase leading down with metal beam overhead
Adaptive reuse warehouse old building interior with ladder
Metal sliding barn door against timber wall

Sustainability specs:
– House within a house adaptive reuse
– Built from standard materials using standard measurements
– Timber used in structure, flooring, walls and ceilings
– Wood fibre insulation
– Design is standardised which saves on materials
– Natural materials
– Large windows and glass sliding doors provides ample natural light
– Energy Efficient

Warehouse glass window with concrete floor
View of corner timber detailing and window
Old metal door on white factory
Metal stairway next to black stained plywood wall
Timber-framed concertina doors with potted plants
From the architect:

We call the new wood construction “The core” and the existing building “The shell”. Each dwelling consists of a core and a shell.

The core constitutes the primary part of the dwelling. It is compact, energy efficient and built in natural materials. It offers excellent daylight conditions, a comfortable indoor climate and great spatial variation. The core comprises an open kitchen-dining area, bedrooms and a bathroom. The shell is an unheated and uninsulated flexible space. Depending on the season it can be used for activities which are commonly hard to fit in a regular dwelling i.e. atelier, indoor playground and workshop.

Images courtesy of Argency in collaboration with Ekolab and Aarhus School of Architecture. Photography by Rasmus Hjortshoj of Coast Studio
Via www.designboom.com
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