The ‘Hoger A Kerk’ Groningen foundation is looking for new functions for churches that lost their original function. Moriko Kira converted a church from 1887 and its sexton house from 1907 into an office for this foundation.
This progressive programme is an initiative of the Remonstrant congregation. The church association is aware of the aging of their congregation and wants to secure the future of their church building. They are hoping that the public presence of the building can be maintained with a new functional use. Not all the required uses can be fitted in the existing building space and this problem created an interesting project. We are dealing with the restoration of the sexton house, the rebuilding of the church and the building of a new entrance.
Moriko Kira makes a connection of secular and religious functions in a direct manner. A certain sense of symbolism is not uncommon for the architect of Japanese origin. The feeling of solidarity is reflected in the church hall. The hall is surrounded by two empty balconies with office space. The two different uses meet in a circulation space between the office and the hall, this is marked by a plastered balustrade and a glass dividing wall with wooden columns. The glass access building, which makes the radical change visible from the exterior, forms a true contrast with the traditional church facade. With a sloping roof, cylinder shape, varying wood columns and strips of glass walls the design reflects the forward thinking ideas of the church.