Chapel of Living: Church Remodel Produces a Beautiful Home
Some church conversions end up looking like anything but their original function. By with this church remodel using white throughout the stark modern interior, however, the architects manage to mix both residential minimalism and the classic bright, light and white aspects of an awe-inspiring sanctuary space.
A few black and/or wood furniture pieces and decor objects serve to keep the white walls, ceilings and floors from overtaking the entire (very open-plan) volumes. This use of very basic blacks and whites also make other objects like the organ and the colorful stained glass stand out all the more like art on a museum wall.
Surprisingly little needed changing for this adaptive reuse project (designed by the architects of Zecc): the balcony remains as it was, private areas have stayed put as sleeping and reading spaces (which are also allowed to be a bit darker and cozier in their color schemes), and the most public areas for cooking and general living are placed toward the front of the plan near the main entry.
The subsidiary spaces in the back (both above and below) are more home-like, but this is also not much of a departure from their previous functions as more intimate church spaces. The remodeled bathrooms, for example, are much simpler and softer in their design, while the public kitchen area remains a small piece of the main living room areas.
Zecc calls it the “Chapel of Living.”
“An old Catholic church is transformed into one spatial residence. The character of the small church is retained and where possible reinforced. The colors of the characteristic leaded glass are brought to life by brightening the complete space. The stained glass works as a projector on the clear surfaces. For extra daylight roof windows are added, through which diffused light enters the converted chapel. To create contact with the city a large Mondriaan-like window is added behind the original altar. It’s an abstract version of the leaded glass with its strong colors.”