For the Dutch practice 70F Architecture it was probably not the most common commission to build a sheep stable. Anyway the city of their hometown Almere asked them to design a shelter for the local sheep population of about 80 sheep.
Here is what the architects say:
“The city of Almere has a sheep population of about 80 sheep. The sheep are mobilized to keep the powerful weed “acanthus” or “bears-breech” that grows in the “vroege vogel” – forest and “kromsloot” – park in Almere under control. To centralize and house this population, a sheep stable was needed.
The stable is designed with an a-symmetrical homogeneous cross-section. The part of the building where the sheep reside is relatively low; the high part is situated above the (public) pathway and the hay storage section, making it possible to store a maximum amount of hay. This shape also creates a natural flow for the air inside the building, which is refreshed by two slits at the foot of each long side of the building. The detailing of the corner of the building, where the long façade ends and the gable starts, is extremely important for the overall experience of the architecture of this building. It emphasises the cross sectional shape of the building, and finishes the long façade of the building, which starts as a façade and slowly becomes roof.”
The construction (pine) and cladding (Western Red Cedar) are made of wood. Only the curved girders are made of steel. This was done to emphasise the tube-like shape of the interior, which would have been less strong using twice as high wooden girders. The tube has three strategically placed daylight openings, of which one is close to the floor level, so people can look inside even when the building is closed. All vertical walls in the stable and office are clad with beech plywood.
The stable is designed to make it possible for the public or school classes to visit the building and experience the keeping of sheep up close. At one end of the building, on the second floor, a room for the shepherd and a small office is realised. There are sleeping facilities for the shepherd, who has to stay over night in case any sheep are lambing. Work in and around the stable will be done by, amongst others, people who live with a mental social or psychiatric disability, supervised by the shepherd.
Apart from the public function, the Muslim community will be able to buy the lambs they need for yearly ritual purposes.
Designteam: Bas ten Brinke (Project Leader) and Carina Nilsson MScA (Project Architect)
Commissioner: the City of Almere, the Netherlands, DMO NME, Hans Warrink
Gross floor area: 400 m2
Building costs: €300.000,- ex. VAT.