TRESPA PURA NFC® : HOME AND OFFICE
When architect Bernard de Barsy, founder of ab+, wanted to build his home and office in the small village of Boulaide, Luxembourg, he was particularly taken by the nature of the land and panoramic views. Indeed, nestled in a river valley just east of Belgium, this northern region of the Grand Duchy, part of what’s called the Oesling, offers beautiful fall colours among its forested hills. In the village, most of the houses are two storeys made of stone and painted in creamy shades with white or brown trim, or more boldly in orange or blue. Popping up on some of the rooftops these days are solar panels—a reflection of the townsfolk’s sunny optimism as well as their support for renewable and sustainable energy.
Just outside of the village, several wooden farm houses dot the landscape. And it is here, on road that not even Google maps has toured, where de Barsy made his home. “I constructed my house on the edge of town to make the most of the fantastic countryside scenery,” he says. In fact, the farmers use of wood façades provided the architect with the inspiration for his design. “I wanted a contemporary interpretation of these wooden façades to emphasize the volume of the central part of my house.”
This project also required energy efficiency in order to meet the standards of a passive house with a lowcarbon footprint. The intrinsic qualities of Trespa® Meteon® achieved this goal, but what really sold the architect on purchasing Trespa® panels for his façade was their signature colour stability and the varied patterns he could create using the different finishes.
“What I like most about my home is, first the relationship between my house and nature,” he says, adding as well how it communicates with the world around it and “the dialogue between interior and exterior spaces.” But also importantly, was “the choice of materials.”
Normally over time, first-year wooden façades fade—along with their nuances. “I wanted to keep those nuances.” The only problem was he needed panelling 20 cm wide. “When I contacted Trespa in 2014 to solve the technical problem of the boards, I learned that Trespa was studying a board interlocking system. In January 2015, Trespa presented in Munich its Trespa Pura NFC® system. The Pura sidings fit my needs.”
All he had to do next was determine the colours, but he had particular tonal variations in mind none of which fell within the six colours available in the Trespa Pura NFC® range at the time. “I needed a clear tone, medium and dark. I opted for the Trespa® Meteon®NW24 Cedar Greyed, NW25 Hesbania and NW28 Halmstad.” Then in June 2015, Trespa produced the planks in these three desired colours. “The NW in particular provides a unique wood decor,” he says.
Once de Barsy had the primary façade defined, “I needed another Trespa texture for the rest of the building as well as for the top floor,” he explains. “I envisioned a black colour. What better to contrast with Wood Decors?” Thankfully, in 2016, “Trespa introduced me to a new range: Trespa® Meteon® Lumen with Diffuse finish. This product has the distinction of having no reflection.” After a test, de Barsy chose the Diffuse Lumen Black Metropolis for the rest of the building.
“Once landed next to the Trespa Pura NFC® façade , the Lumen redefined the appearance of three shades of Pura. The choice was not easy, no reference existed at the time I was making the order. The three Trespa Pura NFC® and Trespa® Meteon® Lumen were the first of their kind to be used in the world.” Ultimately, for the 1,000-square-meter space, de Barsy covered it with almost 800 square meters of Trespa® façade in addition to 250 square meters of windows.
“I have achieved and created the façade that I wanted for my house,” he says. “An important aspect for me was the use of façade materials that were able to highlight my architecture without monopolizing my architecture. Indeed, the front of my house must affirm the interior architecture, the façades must remain a result and not a goal in-and-of itself.” For the rest of the house, he used rough concrete stripping; varnished raw steel, wood and glass for the stairs; black or light crude timber for the floors as well as polished concrete and anthracite-coloured Mosa tiles.
One of the best moments to catch the overall effect of de Barsy’s stunning home is during the golden hour of sunset. “The Diffuse Lumen Black Metropolis has a special effect in the sun. The surface seems subdued, there is no reflection of the sun nor any glossy-like feature. This is particularly hard to describe, you have to see it in real life. When we took pictures of the façade, we felt that the photos looked like 3-D simulations and not real photos. This is really special.”
And while he is not looking to sell his house, he would be up for building another one just like it for somebody else.
Source: Think Trespa #05