RESIDENTIAL CHURCH UTRECHT
In the Netherlands thereare hundreds of empty churches. Since 1970 more than 1000 churches are closed by churchcommunities. More than 1/3 was demolished and half of the Catholic churches were thrown down. Thecoming years another 1000 churches will lose their original function. Fewer people go to church andthe costs for conservation are no longer affordable. Fortunately, demolition isless common nowadays, partly because churches are often on the monuments list.Re-use is the only way to prevent long-lasting vacancy or demolition. Thepurpose of the Re-use of the St-Jakobuskerk was to revalue the dignifiedmonument with little interventions as possible.
There is as little aspossible of the existing church ‘touched’ or modified. The existing woodenfloor, stained glass windows and old doors are maintained and repaired wherenecessary. The new white floor sculpture iskept free from the church walls, columns and arches. The sleek stucco volume isconstructed from steel, wood & sheet material. Closed parapets guidesightlines and embrace the places of living. Glass surfaces in the volumeconstantly offer another insight of fragments inthe church. Moreover, they reflect historical elements, which creates a fusionof old and new.