A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

Dutch studio Ruud Visser Architects have tranformed a 1930s church into a house in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

The architects have created a new volume within the existing building, allowing inhabitants to walk between the new structure and church walls.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

The open plan interior incorporates the wood-panelled vaulted ceiling and windows of the original building.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

A glass façade at the rear of the house looks out onto a river.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

Photographs are by René de Wit.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

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The following information is from the architects:


Our project A House in a Church 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.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

With the help of Ruud Visser Architects and Peter Boer, the church was adapted into a home fit for a family of four.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

The volume of the church is larger than most average family homes. In order to create the impression of a normal-sized home, the architects decided to place a house within the church rather than using the whole space for the home. So you can actually walk around the new house, while walking inside the church.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

The last part of the church, the transept, is held open. This was the place of the pulpit. Lightened by the original ‘leaded light’ windows.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

Situated on the back of the church, directly behind the transept, a smaller volume is placed. This volume is about 7 meters deep and stands with its back façade directly on the banks of the river De Rotte.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

Originally this volume was the church-choir. But in the existing situation this volume was in complete decline.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

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Ruud Visser Architects replaced the church-choir with a new modern volume, with exactly the same form as the original choir, but shorter. This new volume has floor-to-roof windows.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

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By this, the house in the church is opened now to the beautiful landscape. And the transept has become a buffer, between the public outside and the private house inside.

A House in a Church by Ruud Visser Architects

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