Lexmond-based studio Ruud Visser Architects in South Holland has converted a wooden church built in 1930 into a spacious house for a family of four.
Located along the river De Rotte in Rotterdam, the church became a storage facility and a garage before being converted into a beautiful house.
House In A Church by Ruud Visser Architects:
The church was totally covered with metal plates and looked like a hangar. At the moment of the pitch, the building was in decline.
With a volume of 3000 m3, the church is as big as six average family houses. We could just blow up the program for an average family dwelling by six times. Or we could make a house with twenty rooms. But that was not our goal.
Our starting point was to design a ‘luxurious house, of normal measurements’ for a family with two children. This ‘house’ will be situated inside the church as an independent object. Crucial in the design is the pace between the house and the church. In this space you will experience the confrontation between the sacred and everyday living. This space is held open so you can actually walk around the house while walking inside the church.
On the back-side of the original church was the choir. A smaller and lower volume than the actual church. With its back facade directly situated on the bank of the river De Rotte. The original volume of the choir is replaced by a modern volume, with the same measurements but much shorter and with the back facade completely out of glass. The formerly ‘transept’ of the church (cross-ship) is laid open now. And is designed as an immense void, where the whole original church can be seen. The new glass-facade opens the church to the river and gives a magnificent view off the landscape. The transept now functions as a buffer between the outside and the private house.
The glass-facade with the huge sliding-doors, the white frame of steal and the movable blinds in the back-facade, make a striking look along the river-side.