St. Bartholomew’s Church by Maxim Velcovsky


St. Bartholomew’s Church by Maxim Velcovsky

Czech designer Maxim Velcovsky has redesigned the interior of a church in Eastern Bohemia, using customised design classics, rugs and chandeliers. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.


Working with designer Jakub Berdych under the Qubus Studio banner, the interior features Verner Panton chairs customised with a punched crucifix, Persian rugs and chandeliers of rough-cut crystal.

A statement from the designers follows:


“The latest creation of the Qubus Studio originated at the St. Bartholomew’s Church in the village of Chodovice, Eastern Bohemia. On this location, Jakub Berdych and Maxim Velcovsky have succeeded in making design an integral part of religion.


“Here at the St. Bartholomew’s Church you will surely notice that both designers have once again shown their typical flair for working with the context. Through integration and unexpected combination of intelligent elements, they have added a new dimension to the baroque interior.


“The central nave has been stripped of dull repaints and left totally exposed so that visitors can watch the course of history on fragments and details on the wall.

"Illuminated by chandeliers adorned with pressed and roughly cut crystal, the bare space is dominated by an “army" of legendary chairs designed by Verner Panton with one crucial detail added – a Christian cross carved through the back of the chair.

“Although Berdych and Velcovský had known that as a result of this work they would lose the warranty of several years provided by the legendary manufacturer of the Vitra furniture, they were not afraid to experiment.

“The redesign and religiousness of this design icon is multiplied by its installation on dozens of Persian carpets, which are so typical for Muslim shrines. This space is an eclectic cocktail and a place to ponder, moving us towards cultural dialogue."

Posted on Monday April 9th 2007 at 4:33 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • barbara

    so so so wonderful. modern design integrated with very old architecture and traditional religion. it’s uplifting and visually beautiful. congratulations!

  • Allie


  • Luis

    I definitely like the idea, the bare walls, the bright light, the thin profile of Panton’s chairs, and the dozens of Persian carpets… hold on! …a patchwork of dozens of Persian carpets? mmmh…
    Could you please explain that again? thanks.

  • yes, i think so!!!i like it …it’s very beautiful!

  • A very intersting experiment with the panton chairs,
    especially the contrast between the shiny white plastic & the rough textures of the walls.

  • zdeněk v.

    lovely! It has strenghtened my faith! God will visit Chodovice within 14 days…

  • pp


  • maryam momeny

    i dont really have a comment so much as a (what this site may consider a sophmoric question) i’m looking for the name of a high rise in copenhagen. it is a slanted apartment building- any idea what it is? i’m not really even sure where or whom i’m emailing–if this makes it anyplace, i would appreciate a response even if its to tell me to get a clue. i’m trying to get a print out/poster for my father. thanks.

  • ping

    God is everywhere!

  • carmel

    send this to world of interiors magazine this is perfect for their audience!

  • Steven Andrews

    Ugh! Absolutely hideous. The rupture with tradition in the “Spirit of Vatican 2” lives on.

    “Through integration [umm . . . how are the obtrusively chinsy and stark white plastic chairs integrated with their Baroque surroundings?] and unexpected combination [indeed – much like a moustache on the Mona Lisa] of intelligent [?] elements , they have added a new dimension to the Baroque interior.” Indeed.

  • Fatma Terlik

    very sophisticate way of restoring!

  • Jolene Cassa

    There’s such a fine line between clever and stupid. This failure corsses the line. No reference whatsoever to organic development of the Church’s treasury of beautiful iconography. Michaelangelo and Bramante managed to humble themselves and build on the shoulders of their great progenitors, but no… Maxim is too important to pay homage to history. This design is nothing more than an exercise in narcissistic “pay attention to me” cleverness which is utterly booooorrrring. This is what Benedict XVI meant by the hermeneutics of rupture and discontinuity.

    For those of you that love this lowbrow schlock, I’ll offer the most valuable lesson my 3D design prof taught us in first year of college. He said “If you look at a design or building or interior and immediately an inner voice chimes in saying something like”thats kinda neat…” you can be sure you’re looking at kitch, not art.

  • Jolene Cassa

    Where's the hymnal shelves? Where's the kneelers? Color me pre-Vatican II, but I don't think singing and genuflecting is as retrograde as wooden pews. And please tell me those little gay cushions aren't for kneeling… Really quite funny!

  • eugmir

    “God wants you to buy the hardcover….”

  • starving

    i don’t get it. i think you all got duped.

  • Andrew

    @ Jolene: Please keep your criticism professional! The use of the word gay to mean anything other than homosexual is completely out of date and ignorant.

  • Citoyen Sade


    pun intended.

  • fromageplus

    Architects, please, we NEED majesty. Please. Now.

  • Shirley

    I love it! The rows of flowing white chairs look like angels’ robes in a heavenly choir! It has a wonderful white ethereal feel with the sparkling chandeliers. And I love the way the punched cross on each chair allows colour and light to peek through. I love the creativity in a space designed for worshipping our Creator!