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Contemporary converted church or God’s Loftstory, Netherlands

Dutch architectural practice Leijh, Kappelhof, Seckel, van den Dobbelsteen Architecten have completed the God’s Loftstory project. The converted church can be found in the village of Haarlo, The Netherlands.

According to the architects: “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. 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!”

“It was a conscious choice, not to fill the space completely with as many rooms as possible, but to minimise the demands, in order to retain the spaciousness of the building. The only architectural additions are the mezzanine for the relaxation room and the multifunctional ‘stairway to have fun’. The materials 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 and strategically chosen red accents.

“This converted church 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.

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