Ruud Visser Architects and Peter Boer transform church into spacious family home
Once the focus of local worship, a wooden church on the banks of the river De Rotte in Rotterdam boasts a history that reaches back to the 1930s. Over the last few decades, the religious sentiment slipped away and metal plates were attached to the facades as the church was adapted for use as a garage. Ruud Visser Architects and Peter Boer were recently approached by a family of four who wished to transform the structure once again, this time into a ‘luxurious house of normal measurements’.
Whilst on the surface this may seem like a straightforward proposal, the 3,000 cb m volume of the church was such that the architects considered it ‘as big as six average family houses’. With this in mind, they have constructed a separate ‘house’ that sits inside the church’s outer shell – a house within a home – presenting the family with the ability to physically walk around their new home while walking inside the church itself.
The final outcome retains the church’s transept – where the pulpit once stood lightened by the original ‘leaded light’ windows – which has been kept as an ‘immense void, where the original church can be seen in the whole’. Towards the rear of the property the architects have constructed a modern volume to replace the dilapidated 7m deep church-choir space, inserting floor-to-roof windows to provide scenic views across the surrounding landscape. All original facades have been preserved or replaced where possible.