Welcome to the award winning, “God’s Loft Story”, a 1928 Haarlo, Netherlands church which has recently been converted into a home. The Dutch firm behind the renovation, Leijh Kappelhoff Seckel van den Doppelsteen Architecten, approached the project with the goal of restoring existing architectural details and preserving the interior’s sense of openness… all this while infusing the new design with a very healthy dose of humor.
Upon entering the loft, one must pass through the “gates of heaven,” which are guarded by a wall full of angels. Once past the threshold the most striking feature is the central staircase, painted a rather unholy shade of red. The reclaimed wood clad stair structure, which the architects have dubbed “The Stairway to Have Fun,” leads directly to the bedroom and bath area. It also serves the dual function of partitioning off the kitchen and providing additional storage space.
The original stage of the church was maintained and this shift in floor level acts to further define the different activity areas of the main level. Here, where a series of glowing cross pendants hang above the desk, we see just one of many tongue in cheek details carried throughout the home and out to the exterior. The writing on the wall leading to the lofted red tiled bathroom reads, “Holy Shit” in Dutch and just outside the old church, a small herd of little wooden “lost sheep” graze rather adorably.
The garden area is home to a recycled shipping container, complete with a green roof, which serves as a storage space as well as a backdrop to a partially shaded seating area. The remainder of the garden takes a nod to monasteries of yesteryear with a small orchard as well as an herb and vegetable garden.
Photos courtesy of LKSVDD Architecten.