벨기에 림버그에 위치한 예배당은 원래 기념물로 지어졌으며, 1872년에만 예배당으로 개축되었다. 문화재로 등록된 건물임에도 파손이 심해, 더 이상 본래의 용도로 적합하지가 않았다. 이러한 이유로 개조공사가 시작되었고, 개조의 목적은 건물의 전통을 기념하는 것이었다. 가능한 한 구조적 변화를 일으키지 않고 대다수의 내부 표면에 대한 변경도 없이 진행되었다.
Klaarchitectuur added rectilinear volumes both inside and outside the 17th century building, as part of a major renovation that involved completely replacing the roof.
Now known as the The Waterdog, it primarily functions as a workspace for the architecture practice, but is also opened to the public for regular community events.
The property was originally built as a monument, and was only converted into a chapel in 1872. Despite being a heritage-listed building, the it fell into disrepair, and was no longer fit for purpose.
Klaarchitectuur's renovation celebrates the building's heritage. The studio made as few structural changes as possible, and left the majority of the internal surfaces unchanged.
"I fell in love with the charm of the old chapel several years ago," studio leader Gregory Nijs told Dezeen, "so it was vital the historical character of the building remained intact."
"The decision was made to preserve the old building in its full glory, in its entirety, despite it being heavily affected by the ravages of time."
Nijs and his team began by erecting a stand-alone structure within the centre of the chapel, a suitable distance away from the building's patchy, blush-toned walls.
Four irregularly stacked boxes form the main body of the office, each of them occupied by different departments. The highest of these extends out through the chapel's roof. This was easy to achieve – as the roof was being replaced anyway.
In the other three boxes, monochrome meeting rooms and casual work areas are connected by chunky black staircases. On the upper levels, occupants are given a close-up view of the chapel's exposed wooden roof beams.
"By stacking the offices, the necessary space was freed up to create an engaging and multifunctional space that can be used for a broad spectrum of activities," Nijs explained.
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