“God’s Loft Story” minimalist living and upcycling a church?

First, I have to say that this is irreverent, but it is also so much fun! The architectural firm of Leijh, Kappelhoff, Seckel, and van den Dobbelsteen or LKSVDD, based in Amsterdam, won the Audience prize at Architectuurprijs Achterhoek 2012 with their “God’s Loft Story” renovation. Just looking at the pictures of the outside of the building I begin to sing the theme song from the “Beverly Hillbillies” (you’ll have to check out the pictures below to understand that comment). I am also aging myself with that reference, but the show was in re-runs when I was a child. This renovation is so cool I completely understand how it won (directly translated) the Audience Award. The photographer, Vincent van den Hoven, also has a fabulous eye and sense of humor.

OK, back to the point…the concept and design of this space is really fabulous. LKSVDD transformed or shall we say upcycled an old church and reinterpreted it into a very special residential loft. In its reinterpretation, the space retains its open structure with views of the rafters and some special qualities that give it charm, such as the stained glass windows and the restored panel doors. The overall space is roughly split into two via a structure that holds the “stairway to have fun,” among other necessities. On one side of the stairwell is the kitchen and the other is the  combination living room and dining space. Both ends of the space remain unseparated by the wall. At one end is the office area over which is the lofted bedroom and bathroom space. On the other end is the foyer which is separated from the main living area and above it is an art studio space with skylight. Once entering the primary space, the dining area is off to the side and you are facing the boldly colored red “stairway to have fun”.

Really my favorite area has to be the bedroom loft space, or the office with swing, or even perhaps the shipping container that acts as a barrier to the street and outdoor shelter in the garden. There are really just too many special attributes to pick a favorite. The entire space comes together to create such a playful and fun space in which to reside. This residence is really a masterpiece of reuse. The stairwell is faced with wooden planks from the roof with provides a wonderful contrast to the white walls and dark flooring that covers the main living space.

On the exterior of the residence is a beautiful side yard and vegetable garden which is protected from the street by a fence and green roofed shipping container. An excellent combination I think. Old bricks have also been reused as planters. Out front a few wooden lost sheep are scattered about hinting at the humor that embodies the entire property. It really was the sheep and man mowing the top of the shipping container that reminded mw of the Beverly Hillbillies.

images © Vincent van den Hoven

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