Carl Barenbrug

Product design, creative direction

Barenbrug House

In the summer of 2021 I made the decision to plan a house project. Not just to save, find, and buy a pre-existing house—that would be far too easy—and boring (unless you're doing an interesting renovation). Instead, my partner and I are opting to buy a plot of land in Scotland and build on it. And the build will be a prefabricated one. I have been drawn to the concept of prefab architecture for many years and I am so happy to see how this area has evolved in recent times. It used to be very hard to find designs that had aesthetic appeal, but today, many prefabs look incredible and are built sustainably.

With prefab, you can typically opt for various levels of service: you might just want to pay for the supply, you might want supply and assembly to weathertight conditions, or you might want the full turnkey service where the exterior and interior are built to liveable standards. The latter is definitely something we'll be opting for. Sure, it might be a little more expensive, but the whole appeal of prefab architecture is speed, efficiency, modularity, convenience, and stress-relief. Otherwise, I'd just be some mad-hatter like you see on Grand Designs killing myself with stress and near bankruptcy to design the perfectly bespoke home. I do admire some of those folks, admittedly, but we don't need to own an entirely unique home, particularly because our living requirements are pretty basic. I just want a well-designed, well-made, and energy-efficient one that functions as we need it to—now and in the future.

The project—Barenbrug House—is underway and we are giving ourselves 4 years to realise it to a completed state. We are already one year into this project with the focus currently being research and money saving. I want to now share this project with you. It's a big undertaking and not without obstacles (location being the biggest), but it's an exciting one. And I reckon you'll find it pretty interesting to follow if you’re looking to do something similar. Our home is our ultimate sanctuary for ourselves, our (future) family, and our pets, so it's only right to want to create something special.

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