Architects: FARO Architecten
Location: Elspeet, The Netherlands
Project Architect: Hugo de Clercq/Arjenne van Berkum
Project Team: Philip Sanders
Contractor: Bouwbedrijf van Ouwendorp, Elspeet
Interior Design: Van Dijk, Zutphen
Landscaping: FARO Architecten bv BNA
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 155 sqm
Photographs: Hans Peter Föllmi
The architects designed this church according to the traditional Mennonite principles: a sustainable building, with the user in mind and a space for gathering and meeting. The first Mennonite churches were hidden and inconspicuous; simple places of congregation around the bible. The interiors were sober and as pure as possible. No distraction or ornaments in order to enhance concentration and togetherness. This new church on Mennorode refers to that time.
The building has one large characteristic space where whitewood rafters set the tone. A widening in the middle of the building gives this barn-like church a contemporary look. A narrow entrance opens up into a wide gathering space with a glass facade. A knack in the roof and the wall models this transition. An outdoor church has been added and allows open air gatherings when the weather is good.
The new church will be used for gatherings and other church functions. Hospitality is an important theme in this project since the church will be open all day and everybody is welcome to walk in and visit. A special corner has been created for reflection, quietness and meditation.
The building is made of 100% wood. The interior has been finished with floor boards that were recycled form an old convent. The exterior roof and walls are covered in shingles made of French acacia, harvested from sustainable production woods. The front facade has native oak wood and the walls and roof have been insulated with flax. The building is heated through thermal storage.
Text provided by FARO Architecten