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Interview: Ruud Visser transforms old churches and water towers into incredible modern homes
Visser says that though he could have simply designed a labrynthian 16-room home, he chose instead to design “a luxurious house, but of normal measurements.” To accomplish this, Visser employed the use of several innovative design techniques. “We situated this ‘house’ inside the church as an independent object… Inside the house there is the scale of the family home. Outside the house, but [still] inside the church, it is the scale of the church.” Visser says that this creates a unique home environment that provides the simultaneous feeling of living in a normal family house while also occupying a vast interior space.
One of these spaces he left open was the area previously occupied by the pulpit. “The [far end] of the church is the transept or cross-ship. This was the place of the pulpit, [which was] lightened by the original ‘leaded light’ windows. This space we held open as an immense void… By this, the new house in the church is opened to the beautiful landscape. The transept has become a buffer, between the public outside and the private house inside.”
The combined result of his firm’s efforts is a breathtaking new interpretation of re-purposed architecture, with House in a Church not aiming to fully occupy and conceal the existing structure, but to punctuate and embrace it.
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