A Future for Church Buildings

 

Nick van Garderen, Laura Monroy Torres, Joris Kemperman, Brandon Villatora, Ruben van Dijk, Francesca Meineri, Aukje Hefting, Anna Kärki, Stijn Giesbers, Mallika Jayaraman, Merel van Hooren, Liucija Šimk nait, Joshua Evers, Michaela Vatral’ova

 

 

Seminar, September - November 2018, Tutors: M. W. Musch, Geert Das
 

 

1. Heilige Antonius Abt Church - Volkel

 

Nick van Garderen
Laura Monroy Torres

 

The oldest chapel that has adorned the small village of Volkel has served the community up until 1835. On October the 10th of 1836 the “New Church” was opened. The project was co-financed by none less than King William I of the Netherlands after requests of Rector J. van Maren. This new church was renovated and extended in order to attain more sense of grandeur. Between 1880-1882 various additions were made to this church, varying from an addition of a choir to the widening of the nave. After these renovations the church was tormented with various defects of which the worst was the continuously leaking slate roof. After various restoration attempts of the roof the entire building was taken down in 1937. Upon this a new church, the Heilige Antonius Abt kerk as we know it today, was erected within a year. The consecration of the building as it is still present today happened on the 24th of October 1938 under Pastor L.J. Van Vroonhoven.

2. Heilige Kruisvindingskerk - Odiliapeel

 

Joris Kemperman
Brandon Villatora

 

In 1957, Jan de Jong designed a plan for the centre of Odiliapeel. The new church was part of this plan. The church was finished in 1959. The chuch, designed by Jan de Jong, follows the architectural movement Bossche School. Bossche School is an architectural movement based on the ideas of dom Hans van der Laan. The most important design concepts are the plastic number and numerical relationships.

 

Van der Laan believed that the golden ratio only works for two-dimensional objects. In architecture, everything is three-dimensional and that is why he searched for the plastic number. 

 

The church in Odiliapeel was designed as a rectangle where columns determine the central space. By placing this space asymmetrically inside the larger whole and by lowering it into the ground, it became an independant space. Every comparrison with a basilica was prevented. This lead to new opportunities. The funnel-shaped spaces inbetween the outerfacade and the central space create a perspective that stretches these spaces. 

3. Jacobus de Meerdere - Zeeland

 

Ruben van Dijk
Francesca Meineri

 

The Jacobus the Meerdere church is of great interest in many fields. It shows the evolution of Catholicism in Brabant and is therefor of cultural-historical inte-rest. It if of interest for architectural history through the style and detailing in the church and also as a model for the work of the architect Cornelis van Dijk. Moreover it is of importance for the art historical field due to the interior parts of the church, presbytery and the chapel in the cemetery. It also shows in combi-nation with its surroundings relevence for the growth of a church village in Brabant. And as this church is preserved very well, it is an important piece to show these elements.

 

Within the church, at the right side upon entry, a cha-pel has been made for St Jacobus. This was built af-ter 1967 to honour the saint after who the church was named. A guild in his name, the St Jacobusguild has already existed in the village since the 15th century. Then the guild was a fraternity to protect the hearths of the houses in Zeeland. The tasks of this guild until 1961 were nothing more than the sacremental days for St Jacobus. The unwed guild members are to car-ry the baldachin during these processions. Now the guild has a more ceremonial function in the church and it organises activities in shooting and playing in-struments. 

 

Nowadays, the church is still used as a church during funerals, but it is not in use for the sunday masses anymore. The church has an organ made by the fa-mily Smits. This organ is protected by funding, which made sure there was a performance of a choir within the church and the organ was used in this con-cert. This funding was available till 2018, so it is un-sure yet what whether the concerts will continue.

4. Heilige Geest Church - Oss

 

Aukje Hefting
Anna Kärki

 

There are three important periods in the development of the city that reflect in the development of the church. The creation of the church, paired with the plans to expand the city in 1925 is the first significant moment. The city expected a growth of the population, because of the upcoming industry and the pull-factors belonging to this. They built the church for the people, making the ship broad, to accomodate many people.

 

The second important period is the renewal of the industrialisation, this was in the 1950s. The industry developed itself further, creating new jobs and pulling more people into the city. This meant there needed to be more houses, but also that the church community grew and there was need for more space in the church, so they expanded the church as well.

 

The third period was the 1990s and the previous two decades. In this period the relationship with the city and the church is less direct. The city kept expanding, while the amount of people going to church became less. The large building was not needed anymore, and they demolished the expansing of the building. 

 

Throughout these three periods, with each transition the church lost part of its intention. The original site plan shows the whole plot designed to support the church, but slowly the church and its surroun-dings grow estranged from its plot and look like a lost relic in the urban fabric that keeps changing.

5. Sint Servatius Church - Megen

 

Stijn Giesbers
Mallika Jayaraman

 

The Sint Servatius is not the first Catholic church that was ever built in Megen. A previous one was located on the current graveyard and got destroyed during the 80 years war. When Catholicism became an aknowledge religious in the Netherlands in 1848 plans were made to built a new church for Megen. Untill then masses were hold in small chaples in and around the village. 

 

In 1872 the Sint Servatius Church was completed. The architect was H.C. Dobbe, an architect who built many religious and public buildings in the area of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Oss. His church for Megen can be categorized as a neo gothic building. This was not the only architectural style H.C. Dobbe worked in, neo gothic, renaissance and classicism are the three styles he built in.

 

A neo gothical church is often seen in many villages and cities in North-Brabant. The Sint Servatius in Me-gen forms in that sense no exception. However, the church does not have the rather typical latin cross shape. Since it has no transcept the church has an I-shape.

6. Garnizoenskerk - Ravenstein

 

Merel van Hooren
Liucija Šimk nait

 

The architect, local harbor master and boat builder, was guided by his knowledge of familiar churches in the area. This is how a building in Gothic style rose. It became a hall church, equipped with sim-ple buttresses, windows with fork traces and printed round arches, erected in clear brick. The designer of the building had apparently applied his experiences in boat construction to the construction of the roof.

 

One does not have to have a rich imagination to fi nd the rafters of an inverted ship in the rafters of the church. What is good for the design of a ship, he will have re-asoned, is also useful for the construction of a roof. This is the most interesting element on the interior of the church, while the rest of the interior is quite sober.

 

The church is now in use for the protestant mass but also the Catholic church uses it for their ceremonies, because their church is not in use anymore due to re-novation problems.

7. Paaskerk - Oss

 

Joshua Evers
Michaela Vatral’ova

 

The Protestant movement in Oss was not of notable size untill the late 17th century, when the public display of Catholic belief became prohibited. During this development, the Protestant movement grew as a community, resulting in a larger increase of Protestant churches. 

 

The Paaskerk in Oss, although built in 1966, is a later result of the influence of the Protestant belief and shows the modern presence of a long existing movement. The  construction of church was commissioned by the church council  in 1953, and was build for the new reformed Pro-testant church community.

 

The church itself was designed by architects van Mourik and van Wely, and it shows a modernist interpretation of the Protestant belief and manner of expressing this. With non-oriented building placement and a non-traditional floorplan it goes against the established fashion of church design. Although its distinct architectural expres-sion, the symbolicism remains. The underlying meaning of the Protestant movement is present, as it connects partisants and creates a humble, sober environment for church-goers.


This page contains abstracts of various chapters of the book A Future for Church Buildings. For more information, and inquiries about the book, please contact us.