Back 2 Church

Master Interior Architecture graduation project (second place HKU-Awards 2015)

In the period of the reconstruction between 1945 and 1965, 1564 churches were built in the Netherlands. A church was an important part of the district structure and was therefore often placed in the center of the new neighborhood.

We are currently living in a time of secularisation and every week one church in the Netherlands becomes empty again.

It intrigues me that the place that used to be included as a center in district planning is now more and more the empty center of the neighborhood. The hearts of neighborhoods that beat strongly just before are now empty. This has major consequences for the context in which the church stands.

I would like to think about new interpretations or solutions that bring these empty places back to life. Innovative and perhaps rigorous, but with respect to the building and its original function.

The Roman Catholic Fabianus & Sebastianus Church in Apeldoorn-Zuid is one of those churches that is situated in the middle of the neighborhood and has been empty for three years.

I started looking for a new user and a new function with this empty building. In the context of the building, I addressed parties that could be potential users or approached parties that had a historical link with the building. As a result, I have connected the building and the new user to each other and developed a concept and identity for that.

The future of the Fab & Seb does not lie in single-sided use, but in partial use. In my opinion, this applies to more vacant churches in the Netherlands. The new interpretation responds to the needs of the immediate vicinity of the building. In this way it becomes a building of the neighborhood as before.

Client: Emma├╝sparochie Apeldoorn

Year: 2015

Size: about 1200m2

Visuals: Erik-Jan Verweij