God’s Loftstory / LKSVDD

  • 21 Nov 2012
  • Featured Houses Selected Works
© Vincent van den Hoven

Architects: Leijh Kappelhoff Seckel van den Dobbelsteen architecten
Location: ,
Year: 2012
Photographs: Vincent van den Hoven

The  former  Dutch  Reformed  Evangelism  Building  in  Haarlo  has  been  transformed  into  a  unique  loft. The starting point for the design were the retained  (mostly with a need for restoration)  qualities of the 1928 dating monument,  the façade,  the bell tower with clock,  the volume,  the iconic location on the outskirts of the village  and nice details like  the wooden roof construction,  the old panel doors  and arch windows  with stained glass.

© Vincent van den Hoven

This project demonstrates that a transformation of a church  with limited resources  is possible,  when using a smart design and an efficient plan. The concept was; strip, isolate and furnish. The result represents the motto of the owners: “Cherish your inner child; remain pure, playing, exploring and a little bit naughty!”

© Vincent van den Hoven

It was a conscious choice, not to fill the volume of 1100 m3 completely with as many rooms as possible, but to minimize the demands, in order to retain the spaciousness of the building. The only architectural additions are the mezzanine for the relaxation room  ( couch, bed and bath )  and the multifunctional “Stairway to have fun” ( stairs,  room divider,  closet,  build-in-kitchen,  acoustic element and exhibition wall ).

© Vincent van den Hoven

The materials  that were used  are pure,  sober,  functional and budgetary;  concrete on the floor, the original wooden floorboards off the church as cladding for the  “Stairway to have fun”, stainless steel kitchen elements, a hard glass partition  to retain openness,  white stucco  ( for making the space light inside )  and strategically chosen red accents.

© Vincent van den Hoven

This project shows great passion, humor, respect, love and creativity. This is being reflected in the, specially for this project realized, elements like the swing “swinging sister”, the “KROONluchter” (inspired by the original organ), the “gate of heaven” flanked by a wall of guardian angels, the “stairway to have fun”, the “holy shit” on the toilet, birdhouses with lamp for strange birds that have seen the light and the wooden “lost sheep” in the garden.

© Vincent van den Hoven

The modern garden has large plastered planters, made by left-over-bricks . There is a herb garden, a vegetable garden, a flower garden and an orchard; a contemporary nod to the old monastery gardens. The outside shed with a porch is a 40ft container, integrated into the wooden fence and equipped with a green roof. By deepening the garden, a private garden is created yet still a view at the church is remained intact.

© Vincent van den Hoven

An exemplary example of architectural transformation and sustainable conservation of religious heritage.

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Cite: "God’s Loftstory / LKSVDD" 21 Nov 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=296396>

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