Interiors: Five church conversions
Five former churches from around Europe that have been brought back into use in a variety of ways, from apartments to kindergartens.
St. Sebastian Church, Munster, Germany
© Markus Hauschild
© Markus Hauschild
© Christian Richerts
St. Sebastian himself was known for converting Roman prisoners. Now, this church named after him in Munster has had the same treatment, reimagined as an airy three-storey kindergarten by BOLLES + WILSON architects. A splash of colour at the church’s entrance leads into a space filled with light, thanks to a pairing of green flooring and white walls.
Boekhandel Selexys Dominicanen, Maastricht, Netherlands
Flickr.com (Jorge Franganillo)
Flickr.com (Teemu Mäntynen)
You will struggle to find a more beautiful bookshop than this – a 700-year-old church in Maastricht redesigned by Dutch architects Merkx+Girod. Closed by Napoleon in the 1700s, the space even found use as a bicycle shed before its 2007 conversion, and now it is a lesson in using minimalist design to retain unique character.
Romilly Quarter, Barry, Wales
All photos © Brownfield Green Ltd
An 1800s-era church, along with a school building next door, has been transformed into 11 spacious houses by British church conversion specialists Brownfield Green. The church’s stained glass windows in particular have been worked beautifully into the new designs.
Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, Netherlands
All photos © Daria Scagliola / Stijn Brakkee
Another Dutch church-to-bookshop switch – the design and architecture firm MVRDV are responsible for the eye-catching transformation, converting a chapel originally built in 1787 to a museum bookshop and entrance. Old features from the chapel are interwoven with a vibrant red interior, bringing light and openness to the space.
As the chapel is listed, the shelving in the pictures is made entirely from MDF and can be removed at any time – a great example of how to transform an interior without incurring the wrath of regulators.
Fishing hut, Devon, UK
Photo: Flickr.com (Mark Robinson)
Finally, proof that eye-catching conversions don’t have to be cathedrals– this former chapel in south-east England has found new life as a rural fishing lodge.
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