ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Churches
  4. Belgium
  5. Gijs Van Vaerenbergh
  6. 2011
  7. Reading Between the Lines / Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

Reading Between the Lines / Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

  • 01:00 - 27 November, 2012
Reading Between the Lines / Gijs Van Vaerenbergh
Reading Between the Lines / Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, © Filip Dujardin
© Filip Dujardin

© Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin © Filip Dujardin +16

  • Architects

  • Location

    Looz, Limburg, Belgium
  • Stability

  • Execution

    Cravero bvba (steal) / MEG (fundaments)
  • Initiator

    Provincie Limburg / Z33
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

© Filip Dujardin
© Filip Dujardin

‘Reading between the lines’ is a project by the duo Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, a collaboration between young Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs (Leuven, 1983) and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh (Leuven, 1983). Since 2007, they have been realizing projects in public space together that start from their architectural background, but have an artistic intention. Their projects do not always originate out of the initiative of a classical client, for example, and carry a large degree of autonomy. Their primary concerns are experiment, reflection, a physical involvement with the end result and the input of the viewer.

© Filip Dujardin
© Filip Dujardin

‘Reading between the lines’ is part of ‘pit’, an artistic trajectory with works by some ten artists in the region of Borgloon-Heers (in the Flemish province of Limburg). ‘Pit’ will be the first part of the exhibition project Z-OUT, an initiative in which Z33, the contemporary art museum of the city of Hasselt, presents art in public space (see also On September 24th, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh will reveal a construction in the rural landscape, by a cycle route, that’s based on the design of the local church. This ‘church’ consists of 30 tons of steel and 2000 columns, and is built on a fundament of armed concrete. Through the use of horizontal plates, the concept of the traditional church is transformed into a transparent object of art.

© Filip Dujardin
© Filip Dujardin

Depending on the perspective of the viewer, the church is either perceived as a massive building, or dissolves — partly or completely — into the landscape. Those viewers that look from the inside of the church to the outside, on the other hand, witness an abstract play of lines that reshapes the surrounding landscape. In this way, church and landscape can both be considered part of the work — hence also its title, which implies that to read between the lines, one must also read the lines themselves. In other words: the church makes the subjective experience of the landscape visible, and vice versa.

© Filip Dujardin
© Filip Dujardin

‘Reading between the lines’ can be read as a reflection on architectural themes such as scale, the ground plan etc., but the project also emphatically transcends the strictly architectural. After all, the church does not have a well-defined function and focuses on visual experience in itself (one could even consider it to be a line drawing in space). At the same time, the construction demonstrates that this experience is in effect a consequence of the design, since it explicitly refers to the various stages in its conception: the design drawing, the model… Apart from that, because the church does not fulfil its classical function, it can be read as a heritage related reflection on the present vacancy of churches in the area (and their potential artistic reuse).

© Filip Dujardin
© Filip Dujardin

All these layers merge in one work of art that is open to various readings, from a strictly architectural one to an artistic one. At the same time, ‘Reading between the lines’ is an accessible spatial intervention that gives, among others, a cyclist that happens to ride past, an unexpected visual experience.

© Filip Dujardin
© Filip Dujardin
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Reading Between the Lines / Gijs Van Vaerenbergh" 27 Nov 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


kkb · May 13, 2015

1 Download a church icon
2 Extrude the icon in a 3d software
3 Apply a parametric pattern on the form
You Blow Me ... Away

Lev · November 01, 2016 07:33 AM

well played thats architecture :)

Jurica Polkovnikov · August 10, 2014

Again going back to this project. deeply etched in my memory

Farah J · August 07, 2014

Ang galeng!bakal

Daniela Patterson · July 01, 2013

Increíble como lo simple se transforma en lo complejo de lograr que la arquitectura se integre con la naturaleza y su entorno. Esa transparencia del estar en dos lugares al mismo tiempo es realmente bello.-

mani · March 27, 2013


Jurica · March 14, 2013

I'm interested in the moment when you got the idea for this masterpiece?

Clock Chuh · March 12, 2013


Sweet Child · February 25, 2013

This is really amazing project, amazing idea, I can feel God's appearance

Herr Tee · February 23, 2013

Like it, but nothing new!

Ron H (Architect) · February 21, 2013

Fanciful, clever and a very creative interactive garden sculpture but a building? NOT!!!!

gym · February 17, 2013

It looks a a graphic collage imposed on landscape. Excellent n interesting steel detailing.

Luis Daniel Bautista · February 17, 2013

Ultraligero que no necesito cimentacion?

R Siregar · February 15, 2013


julio amezcua · February 14, 2013


Narcís Coderch · February 14, 2013

m'agrada per immaterial

jane.case3 · December 09, 2012


chrisbouw en · December 05, 2012

reason to love architecture

Petra · December 04, 2012

Congratulations! The question above on the 3D issue is interesting. I believe this is one of the strong issues of your work - to start the design from a 3D model and then creating a reality that is just as precise as the simulation of it. Keep your ambitions up, it's wonderful work!

Myriam Mahiques · December 03, 2012

It´s a great project. Where it says ¨execution¨ it should be written ¨steel¨ and then ¨foundations¨ .

inkgreat · December 03, 2012


Vlado · December 03, 2012

Really beautiful! Is the orientation of the church part of the artistic concept - on one of the pictures it is clear that it "looks" in the opposite direction than the church in the town? Perhaps a manifestation that the project has nothing to do with the official church...

BunkMooreland · December 02, 2012

Well thats one way to get people back into church.

Nebojsa · December 02, 2012

When I think of God,
it does not matter where and how you talk to him
or think of him.
When I think of the church,
imagine a place where you could always get,
at any time of the day
and night,
a place with no doors, gates, fences, gold ...
just a little shelter from the rain, wind and thoughts ...
and at the same time ..
available for the same ....
My respect for the author.

tom · December 02, 2012 07:59 AM a tit

Thellius · December 01, 2012

Wow, such a fantastic effect! I wonder if it'd be so popular if it wasn't shaped as a church i.e. like a box or an abstract form. Maybe that's the genius of it, to play with our imagery.

Elubiel Diaz · December 01, 2012


faezeh · November 30, 2012

that was really perfect....transparency in a spritual place....bravo

Peyman · November 30, 2012

It's just Like a future times building,amazing

the_Dude · November 30, 2012

Beautiful indeed, a step ahead of Zumthor perhaps... Well done to the design team!
Let's hope it stands as long as the rest of churches ;-)

alwoco · November 30, 2012

Intriguing, but really wish that they had taken for advantage of the interior surface....imagine that floor as reflective, or something more unexpected than a concrete pad. The effect of the form is so halting.

90-Grados · November 29, 2012


Jacob Taylor · November 29, 2012


Mark Hash · November 28, 2012

No renders here. All photos. The variation is what makes this project amazing. Very delicate at some vantages and very substantial at others. Great work.

Lars M · November 28, 2012

This is a GREAT project - but aren't some of the pictures actually renders? It doesn't make any sense that on some pictures its 80% transparent when other pictures from similar angles only are 40% transparent..

Audric · November 28, 2012 10:30 PM

It looks like they took the photos from further away and zoomed in - there would be less convergence from perspective, allowing the photographer to line up the opposite planes (rather than having them staggered and blocking the view)

xavier · November 28, 2012

??????????????????????????????????????????~ ????~

dw · November 28, 2012


Gatz · November 28, 2012


emmanuel · November 28, 2012

hello bibiche

Victor Mascarenhas · November 28, 2012

great idea! Congratulations!!

kevin tientcheu · November 28, 2012

This is beautiful and very original. Anyone else finds the ceiling a little creepy though?

chilli · November 28, 2012



Comments are closed

Read comments
© Filip Dujardin

阅读弦外之音/Gijs Van Vaerenbergh