What happens when a place of worship is abandoned? Recovery is difficult: the fate of such places is generally to sit empty for years and, at some point, be cordoned off for safety reasons until the inevitable demolition.

Today, historical towns in countries with a strong Christian culture have the problem of what to do with abandoned churches. Lately, however, in Europe as in the U.S., there have been some very interesting cases of converting them to productive uses.

From the architectural point of view, it is clear which are the constraints as well as the opportunities.

The large volumes allow for taking advantage of the vertical space with lofts and cupboards. From an energy point of view, however, it is necessary to limit the dispersion of heat. Raised floors and false walls may help in this regard, while making wiring easier. As for lighting, most certainly it will be possible to count on large windows that broaden the surroundings, however it will be necessary to use appropriately coated glass.

From the aesthetic point of view, the debate is open: should the ambiance be completely redesigned to be more in tune with the new use, or should the original appearance be preserved, emphasizing perhaps the contrast with ultra-modern furnishings and equipment? Perhaps there is no right answer: it is important to listen to the building, immerse oneself in its history, and respectfully interpret its personality.

Additional information

The “entrepreneurs’ church”: a co-working space in Stockholm

Designboom – BBVH transform church into web design office in the Hague
The headquarters of the web agency Acato in the Hague, in a 19th century church

Joe Zeff Design – The Church
A New Jersey web agency’s headquarters in a 20th century Christian Science church

Archijuice Staff

Archijuice Staff

Commercial & Business Interiors. Our mission is simple: offering you a carefully edited selection of the best Hospitality, Office and Retail design and interiors projects from around the world: this was the idea that led to the creation of the ArchiJuice web portal. We’re mainly interested in bar design, hotel design and restaurant design.