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A Chapel Converted Into a Modern Apartment

The decline in church attendance over the last several decades has meant that countless churches across the Netherlands have lost their function. They are crumbling, are demolished, or are put to new uses. Their specific architectural features often fall by the wayside in this process. Not every church can be turned into a municipal exhibition hall, and if, for example, a residential use is chosen, the original spatial qualities are usually lost. A dutch firm named Zecc has converted an old chapel into an apartment, carefully respecting and enhancing the character of the original building. The chapel was part of a large housing complex of the Friars of Utrecht, which at its height, around the mid-20th century, housed 217 residents. The remaining 13 elderly friars, however, moved to a nursing home in 2005, and the complex was divided up and converted into about 40 apartments.

This was the church before ZECC Architects started the work.
church house0 A Chapel Converted Into a Modern Apartment

And this is how the church looks now …modern and stylish.
church house A Chapel Converted Into a Modern Apartment

The design team chose to keep many of the original features like the high gothic stained glass windows and the original choir organ. To allow more light to enter the space, they cut a Mondrian-inspired glass window into the front of the house facing the street perhaps paying homage to Rietveld’s nearby infamous Schroder House. The entire living area has been whitewashed, while the private spaces above were painted dark. In conclusion this place might be controversial, but it looks very modern and stylish. – Via – Thecoolhunter

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72 responses to “A Chapel Converted Into a Modern Apartment” - Add yours!

  1. Alex Ion said:
    January 22, 2008

    I don’t think I could keep it up if I were to make love to my wife, seeing all the crosses.

    It’s good looking though :)

  2. druida said:
    January 22, 2008

    it’s really great the work they’ve done…but i don’t know if i could live there :s!

  3. lis said:
    January 22, 2008

    I think it’s beautiful! Not sure if it “my taste”, but I think they did a stunning job with it. :)

    I’ve always wanted to live in a converted church… something about the space, the shape, and the windows.

  4. ABZ said:
    January 22, 2008

    OMG this is so cool and neat, not so sure that i would want to live there but it is very cool

  5. druida said:
    January 23, 2008

    seeing for the second time, i’m not sure if i like the contrast between the windows and the rest of the “house”, bc it’s all so minimalistic

  6. Bryan said:
    January 23, 2008

    hahahaha…. hopefully someday all churches will undergo such a transformation from being a place of indoctrination to fornication… Religion is bust!

  7. Rae said:
    January 23, 2008

    Not to my taste at all. It has lost all of its charm with the conversion to modern architecture. Those beautiful stained glass windows look so out of place, and the organ looks rediculous.

  8. igor said:
    January 23, 2008

    Cool. I really like the black staircase with the stairs attached to the wall on just one side.

  9. lyallstyle said:
    January 23, 2008

    i think this idea is a bit sad, but very cool anyways. i think it would be a cool idea to think that you are living in Gods house.

    “I don’t think I could keep it up if I were to make love to my wife, seeing all the crosses.”

    Alex Ion- i don’t mean to be rude but i think that is a silly thing to say. i can understand your feelings, but i think that God loves it when a married couple makes love. He did say “be fruitfull and multiply”. on the other hand, having sex with anyone but your spouse would be very awkward, and rightly so. however having said that, i guess it might be a bit tough to keep it up when dwelling of the crucifixion (crosses).

  10. evan said:
    January 23, 2008

    where’s the bed/bedroom?

  11. Mike said:
    January 23, 2008

    I’m not sure why they kept that cross in there.

    wouldn’t that appeal mostly to Christians ?

  12. Sandeep said:
    January 23, 2008

    Nice job….

    Can i get to know that how much money was spent while doing so…….

  13. January 23, 2008

    Great looking, but i’d definitely trash the crosses if I were to live in there ;)

  14. Stu Foster said:
    January 23, 2008

    My kind of place.

  15. Alexander said:
    January 23, 2008

    Wow, imagine the parties you could have there!

  16. matt said:
    January 23, 2008

    So these people live in a set from THX1138?

  17. louish said:
    January 23, 2008

    I dont think I would of kept the crosses, but im sure they were trying to keep the original aspect of things. I just think it looks silly… “Wow, look at this awesome apartment and…. huh. whats that cross doing there?”

    I love the all white though, Ive always wanted to do that.

  18. Jen said:
    January 23, 2008

    With all due respect and all compliments aside, who besides a minister would want to live in a very apparantly converted chapel. No sir, not I.

  19. Vlad Balan said:
    January 23, 2008

    Who would want to live in a place like that?

  20. Joe said:
    January 23, 2008

    Oh my God (quite literally)… We’ve become totally obsessed with renovations and turning everything into “a block of stylish new apartments”.

    This just goes over the tipping point. It’s all very well if the building was falling apart, but I don’t think the furnishings are in keeping at all.

    Another “nail in the coffin” for building heritage (sorry about the bad joke)…

  21. subcorpus said:
    January 23, 2008

    very nicely done …
    i think i CAN live there … i dont have a problem with converted churches and mosques …
    i grew up very close to one … so its kinda home …
    and the pics above … the place look so spacious …

  22. Roel said:
    January 23, 2008

    Normal modus operandi is that the Church converts people.

  23. Quixion said:
    January 23, 2008

    Oh, so nice. I would move in there in a heart beat. So modern, so stylish. It’s great that they are able to keep legacy buildings from being torn down, even if it means remodeling them. In the end it’s not really important, but kind of nice to keep that sort of heritage around even in an altered state.

  24. jk said:
    January 23, 2008

    Looks like a web 2.0 site.

  25. Tam said:
    January 23, 2008

    It would indeed take a very self confident and self “comfortable” person to live in this space. The stained glass windows remind me of jewelry for a very clean lined white dress.

  26. sultan said:
    January 23, 2008

    I’d love to live there. Just take down the crosses or replace them with something more fitting to myself. Great reworking of the existing layout.

  27. Nolff said:
    January 23, 2008

    I just want to leave a meaningless comment like everyone else. That is all.

  28. Gary said:
    January 23, 2008

    I bought an 135 year old church two years ago. Ive been slowly renovating. I am going to keep the old period look though.
    I got some great ideas from these pics :~)

  29. dickson tn real estate said:
    January 23, 2008

    I love the idea of converting an old church or any kind of old building into a residential property! I think this one is a little too white for my taste. Still it looks good though.

  30. spanatko said:
    January 23, 2008

    Oh my God, the crosses there should really be replaced by something less rigid. Otherwise ist pretty cool.

  31. David said:
    January 23, 2008

    Alex Ion said
    Jan 22nd, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    I don’t think I could keep it up if I were to make love to my wife, seeing all the crosses.


    God invented sex! It’s OK to make love to your wife!
    Do all for the glory of God!

    I would love to live there. I would love to sing praise and prayers along with my trusty guitars to the maker of the universe!

  32. Elizabeth said:
    January 23, 2008

    If the rooms were decked out in symbols of Hinduism, the same people would say, “Oh, how charming! I love the touches of cultural history juxtaposed with the modern aesthetic!” So much for objectivity.

  33. Pete said:
    January 23, 2008

    no farting in church.

  34. Chris said:
    January 23, 2008

    Holy water in the toilets and from the faucets… you can’t go wrong! I’d also keep the collection basket out and pass it to all my guests.

  35. Len said:
    January 23, 2008

    I love it. Then again, I’m a twenty-something pastor. Go figure.

  36. Red said:
    January 23, 2008

    I take it would be very hard to masturbate in that place.

  37. Alex said:
    January 23, 2008

    This house has particular interest for an atheist like myself!

  38. Jim said:
    January 23, 2008

    It’s horrible.
    Cold and uninteresting.
    It looks like a bond villains pad.

  39. Mr. Smiley said:
    January 23, 2008

    I would love to live in that apartment. I would put coffins near where the altar used to be and dress like a vampire and sleep in the coffin. I would invite prostitutes in, and buy tons of drugs. Then after an evening of sex and other such debauchery I would kill the hookers and drink their blood. It would be awesomeness.

  40. Laura said:
    January 23, 2008

    I actually live next to an old church in New York City that has been converted into apartments. It’s really neat because the front and sides of the building still have all the original architecture and stained glass windows, but the back is modern.

  41. matelot said:
    January 23, 2008

    > The decline in church attendance over the last several decades

    how sad…..

  42. January 23, 2008

    Personally, I would turn the font into a urinal, but it might be in an awkward place.

  43. January 24, 2008

    Shades of Alice’s Restaurant! Alice lived in a church, if I recall correctly.

  44. Larry said:
    January 24, 2008

    Argh. They renovated everything historic and interesting away and were left with a awkward shaped building of no particular charm.

  45. chaosgone said:
    January 24, 2008

    It has a nice clean look to it. I’m glad they were able to put it to a new use, and not just demolish it.

  46. Mikey said:
    January 24, 2008

    Churches redesigned into something else can look really cool. This one was overdone. Keeping the church and old look is what makes it so awesome and lasting. Now its just trendy.

  47. Lou said:
    January 24, 2008

    To all you screamingly self concious atheists:

    We. Don’t. Care. About. How. You’d. Remove. The. Crosses.

    You think you’re “different”?? …As different as the 47-other-people who said exactly the same thing??

    It always strikes me how INTOLERANT atheists tend to be… it seems they really can’t cope with someone having a different set of values from their own and so have to highlight, at every. single. opportunity. what doesn’t fit with their own narrow-minded and insecure world views.

    Did it occur to you: that we’re ~gasp!~ NOT asking YOU to live in this house with crosses?

    No, not at all… you’d just like to let us know that you wouldn’t.

    Truely fascinating.

  48. Kat K. said:
    January 24, 2008

    >Who would want to live in a place like that?

    Well, I would, and in fact I do. 10 years ago, my husband bought a gothic stone Episcopal church from 1854 in Scoharie County, NY, and has been converting/restoring it faithfully ever since. We live in Brooklyn, but spend most weekends there – just living a normal life that happens to include Tiffany stained glass windows, a choir loft (now the master bedroom) and a big ol’ honkin’ altar. It’s been deconsecrated since 1972, but people drop by all the time telling us about how they were baptized, grew up attending services, or got married there.

    In fact we got married there, right up at the altar. Just moved the pews from where they usually are lined up up against the walls, and scooted ‘em back when it was time to dance.

    I’ll link to pix if anyone’s interested.

  49. Carla said:
    January 24, 2008

    What a beautiful space.

  50. FM said:
    January 24, 2008

    Oh, now that is just splendid! Although i can understand it not appealing to everyone, it certainly has managed to bring a lot more light and comfort into the space (as well as redefining it’s function without being crude about it). Absolutely lovely and rather inspiring!

  51. WoW said:
    January 24, 2008

    Very interesting, but I don’t think I could live in a place where subhuman christians have gathered. Imagine all of the childeren and babies that would have raped there by those sick animals.

  52. Stewart said:
    January 24, 2008

    I don’t like the idea of churches being torn down vandalized or what have you. I would rather see somebody buy a church and do a nice remodel job like this one. I would live in it,it would take ahile to get used to all the open space but it would be worth it.

  53. SayBlade said:
    January 25, 2008

    Very nice! I like this. Sometimes I feel like I practicly live at my church. This makes the space — and lots of it — very livable.

    Only contention is that one cannot see out the windows without removing the wonderfully crafted stained glass windows. These are artspieces in their own right and should be preserved.

  54. bob said:
    January 25, 2008

    So,they painted it white.
    And ruined a beautiful church.
    Renovated it completely out of style and with white floors??
    Is anyone going to live there?
    Id like to bet the designer can see his/her tonsils from the back.

  55. CMGC! said:
    January 25, 2008

    Looks more like a studio than an apartment

  56. Snacky said:
    January 26, 2008

    What a ridiculous remodeling of the church. Sorry but you can’t successfully blend a church with modernist architecture. The church was full of oval shapes, not 90 degree angles. they could of fudged it a bit by using more curves. The only thing thats working is the white used to repaint it.

    The cross should of been removed out of respect prior to anyone moving in. The sad thing is, probably a couple of pretentious atheists are gonna be moving.

  57. Alberto said:
    January 26, 2008

    In this place should eat loaves and fishes daily and singles nothing here will send as many children as Mr

  58. monkeyman said:
    January 27, 2008

    That staircase without railings is so cooool.

    I can imagine little kiddies falling off……

  59. Christiane said:
    January 27, 2008

    Oh nice. I like this white church very much.

    Aber ich denke dass sie bestimmt ein bisschen teuer ist. Wenn da mal ein Fenster kaputt ist, dann wirds bestimmt sehr teuer.

    Aber im großen und ganzen, ich hätte nichts dagegen dort zu wohnen.

  60. sylvia said:
    January 28, 2008

    i think it’s beautiful. it might sound strange, byt i always wanted to lieve in church. i love the stile of that kind of buildings, tall, with great space, unusual space… actually i’m doing that kind of project right now:) i love that inspiration

  61. PaulW said:
    January 31, 2008

    It looks rather like a clinic or dentist’s. It’s pretty, but doesn’t seem comfortable.

  62. HappyPanda said:
    January 31, 2008

    They should let a child molester live there. He’ll feel right at home in a church.

  63. Kari said:
    January 31, 2008

    I think that although the places of history must be torn down or moved onward with eventually, it is quite unruly to make this a modern eclectic party fad.. which is what I would use it as. It just turns from a place of intense spiritual worship to a place of laundry and everyday miniscule living. So unimportant, disrespectful in some ways, and just sad really. Now, I have many atheist friends, but they would probably be a little more respectful of another religion or any religion of that matter than to trample on it and purchase a property, remove the crosses, and totally unabide with what the actual “space” was factually used for. Why must you do this with a church? Because it’s unique? Or beautiful? As what, a piece of real estate? No if you ask me, it is merely using a space that was used for intense spiritual growth and thrown into a temporary instyle-something-to-show-my-friends apartment. I am confident enough to live here, but respectful enough not to. Don’t mess with Karmal energy or other’s views in mock, please.

  64. Ali said:
    February 7, 2008

    I dig this to the next level. Love love love it!! I would totally live there. Although I have to be honest about the white floors…I did my whole office in white from head to toe and the floors were a problem for sure, regarding dirt maintenance. Anyhow, I think it turned out fanf&*%ingtastic!!

  65. Lionel said:
    May 9, 2008

    A little clinical, but nice

  66. valerie said:
    August 15, 2008

    it is great to read your comments, positive or negative, that’s fine! It is inspiring! Anyway, we really did put a big red carpet in the livingspace….
    With kind regards, the owner!

  67. Grey said:
    October 2, 2008

    If the owner likes it, that’s great…I kind of like that they kept the organ & the stained glass. I don’t even really mind the crosses all that much — to be honest, I think it’s the stark white that really rubs me the wrong way. To me, it’s like the redecorating has taken the warmth that might have been in the original (sad that there’s only one photo of the church to go by) and has turned it into a 70′s b-movie rendition of what the future would look like.

  68. Tom said:
    October 4, 2008

    HORRIBLE…. Bad tase all the way!!!!

  69. Br. Josh 2006 said:
    October 22, 2008

    I Love it. I would live there in a heart beat

  70. Leo Parra said:
    October 21, 2009

    Spectacular,great taste,and incredibly imaginative. you have inspired me

  71. greuceanu said:
    April 13, 2010

    elvis has left the building….

  72. M M said:
    August 27, 2010

    It’s funny. I wouldn’t want to live there.

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