Taking a bubble bath on the mezzanine of a chapel and napping in a cabana by a monastery garden are suddenly tangible activities, and not just on church Sunday. The latest endeavor by Leigh, Kappelhof, Seckel, van den Dobbelsteen Architects has resulted in the reconstruction of what was once a Dutch Church in Haarlo, The Netherlands, into a spacious and immaculate loft space with a view. With intended architectural puns like the “stairway to have fun” and the wooden “lost sheep” on the lawn, humor and imagination have been incorporated into every element of the formerly sanctified space.
Though surprisingly modern and playful, the redesign maintains many of the original structural details built into the 1928 edifice, including the bell tower, stained glass windows, and arched panel doors. Leftover bricks were recycled and used as plastered planters in the garden and strips of wood that once served as church flooring have been restored and adapted into siding for the indoor stairwell. Innovative yet authentic, the glorified loft is a jovial testament to the Old Testament.