Acato, a web design firm, grew weary of their offices being right above a fishmonger, so the company hired Rotterdam-based BBVH Architects to transform a 19th Century church building into their new offices in the center of The Hague. The building was dilapidated and didn’t meet any of today’s codes for safety, sustainability, or comfort, which led to BBVH giving the property a major refurbishment.

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First priority was removing the maze-like hallways and spaces and designing two sets of stairs that gave them the ability to divide the building into three separate units. The church hall became the offices of Acato while the three floors on the front of the building turned into two apartments.

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The tall ceilings in the church allowed for a focal point, steel staircase covered in wood that leads to the new meeting room that was once a choir balcony.

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The walls were insulated and new double glass windows were installed to make the space more comfortable. Underneath the floor, seashells were installed to help with insulation and to control humidity.

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The budget was tight so they sought simple solutions to overhaul the space. The used bright yellow paint and live plants to liven the interior up and kept it all bright and airy.

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Photos by Luuk Kramer.