Neighbors might think they're holier-than-thou, but this House in a Church along the river De Rotte in Rotterdam is a beautiful example of adaptive reuse. The 1930's church had ended its career as a religious sanctuary and was being used as a garage for fixing and selling cars before a family came along and wanted to transform it. With the help of Ruud Visser Architects and Peter Boer, the church was adapted into a home fit for a family of four.
The original church was a voluminous building with a high roof lined with beautiful wood paneling and a choir platform on one side with two dormer windows. In total, the volume of the church was 3,000 cubic meters, which is around 6 times larger than the average family home in the area. The volume was far grander than the family needed, but there was no need to tear the building down as it was in good working order, so Ruud Visser Architects set out to design a ‘luxurious house of normal measurements.’
A new house was built inside the church and situated as an independent object with three stories contained within the volume. The entire church is left open on the river side, which allows light to stream in through the dormer windows as well as the brand new floor-to-roof windows and sliding glass doors. The living space is located on the bottom floor and then two more floors are stacked on top, but the edges never touch the sides of the walls or the roof of the church.
Images © René de Wit