I mean, especially not when used as churches. But take an old house of worship and turn it into a bar, a mall, a pizza place, or a house, and I'm all about the architecture and the soaring spaces and, well, maybe an altar upon which I can be worshipped. Plus, it's easy for people to find, "Take a right on Mill Street and we're the house with the steeple."
Who needs GPS?
This former Dutch Reformed Evangelism Building in Haarlo has been transformed into a unique loft, with most of the details of the 1928 structure retained: the façade, the bell tower with clock, the volume, the iconic location on the outskirts of the village and nice details like the wooden roof construction, the old panel doors and arch windows with stained glass.
Plus, it wasn't an expensive renovation; the concept was strip, isolate and furnish, which oddly enough was the same plan I used back in my bar going daze, er, days, although "furnish" might have been a euphemism.
It was a conscious choice, not to fill the volume with as many rooms as possible, but to minimize the demands, in order to retain the spaciousness of the building. The only architectural additions are the mezzanine for the relaxation room, and the multifunctional “Stairway To Have Fun”; they are stairs, room divider, closet, built-in-kitchen, acoustic element and exhibition wall .
The materials that were used are pure, sober, functional and budgetary; concrete on the floor, the original wooden floorboards off the church as cladding for the stairway, stainless steel kitchen elements, a hard glass partition to retain openness, white stucco--for making the space light inside--and strategically chosen red accents.
Red as a whore in church, I suppose.
The modern garden has large plastered planters, made by left-over-bricks . There is an herb garden, a vegetable garden, a flower garden and an orchard; a contemporary nod to the old monastery gardens. The outside shed with a porch is a 40ft container, integrated into the wooden fence and equipped with a green roof.
It's red and white and green, and used to be a church but now serves a much sweeter purpose.