Greeting visitors on the green lawn in front of the entrance of the house is a small herd of 'lost sheep' made of wood boards (Photo courtesy of Vincent van den Hoven)
Ecclesiastical witticisms and creative but cost-effective details imbue this renovated 1928 church in the Netherlands with a spirit of fun
Architect Ronald Olthof of Dutch firm Leijh Kappelhoff Seckel van den Doppelsteen Architecten (LKSVDD), who lives in a former Dutch Reformed Evangelism church in Haarlo, the Netherlands, understands that the best way to approach religion is with a sense of humour.
In 2012, working with a limited budget, LKSVDD renovated and transformed an old church which was built in 1928 into a slightly irreverent, but extremely groovy loft studio home for Oltoff, his stylist wife Sofie Siuker and their twin sons Boris and Midas. "We named our home God's Loftstory — which sounds like 'love story' — because we fell in love with the building and the place, and we made the church into a loft," says Olthof. This play on words continues in various sections of the home, which are christened with celestially-inspired nicknames.
LKSVDD worked at preserving as much of the building's rich historical details as possible. The interior was reinvented via a simple process of stripping, isolating and furnishing. To maximise the 1,100 cubic metre volume and height of the space, a floor plan was conceived that would allow for much openness and flexibility. Most of the key features of this monumental church — the façade, the bell tower with a clock, the pitched wooded roof, old panel doors and arched stained glass windows — were retained.
This is a preview of the "Holy humour” article from the March 2015 issue of Perspective magazine.
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