A House in a Church in Rotterdam

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A House in a Church in Rotterdam

Building Restoration Development, The Netherlands – design by Ruud Visser Architects

29 Mar 2016

A House in a Church

Design: Ruud Visser Architects in corporation with Peter Boer

Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

A House in a Church

A House in a Church

Along the river De Rotte in Rotterdam stands a wooden church from 1930. The church was not in function anymore and was used as a garage for fixing and selling cars. The church was totally covered with metal plates and looked like a hangar. At the moment of the pitch, the building was in decline.

A House in a Church

A House in a Church A House in a Church

Architecture office Ruud Visser in corporation with Peter Boer designed a ‘house in the church’ for a family with two children.

A House in a Church

With a volume of 3000 cube, 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.

A House in a Church A House in a Church

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 space 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.

A House in a Church

A House in a Church 5

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-façade 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.

A House in a Church

A House in a Church

The glass-façade with the huge sliding-doors, the white frame of steal and the moveable blinds in the back-façade, make a striking look along the river-side.

Ruud Visser Architects i.c.w. Peter Boer

A House in a Church

A House in a Church

Photography: René de Wit

A House in a Church in Rotterdam images / information from Ruud Visser Architects


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