Traditional Churches Become Modern Homes

Sometimes church congregations move on, perhaps because the building itself is falling apart or it becomes too small. Either way, those unique structures show up vacant from time to time. For some living in a church may be a bit taboo, but for others, they welcome the challenge. Here, we’ve rounded up 10 projects where old church buildings are transformed into jaw-dropping modern homes. Take a look.

01.26.17 | By
Traditional Churches Become Modern Homes

A Victorian-style church in London was converted by Gianna Camilotti Interiors into a modern home while keeping its historic charm. The outside may remain a traditional red brick, but the interior features white walls and floors, along with arched windows and wooden beams.

Located in Harrlo, The Netherlands, this home was once the Dutch Reformed Evangelism Building before being transformed by Leijh Kappelhoff Seckel van den Dobbelsteen architecten. The new design includes a bedroom and bathroom loft with modern features and furnishings paired with many of the original details, including the wood roof and the arched stained glass windows.

Photo by Jim Tschetter

An old church in Chicago, Illinois was handed over to Linc Thelen Design and Scrafano Architects to be converted into a modern home for a family with three young children. The 25-foot ceilings, white surfaces, and wood floors make the space feel grand without being overwhelming or overdone.

Photo courtesy of DOS Architects

Dating back to 1853, London’s Westbourne Grove Church was renovated by DOS Architects, who took on the top two floors turning them into a light-filled, open plan loft. The walls and floors might be white, but the furniture and furnishings are anything but.

Photo © Cornbread Works

Zecc Architecten transformed this old Catholic church in Utrecht, The Netherlands into a single family home while managing to work with its original character. Church benches were reintroduced in the dining area as seating and the stained glass illuminates the mostly-white interior with colors and history.

Photo by Axiom Photography

An Anglican church in Melbourne dating back to 1892 was converted by Bagnato Architects to include a modern addition and interior renovation. Spread over multiple levels, the home features a variety of natural materials, like reclaimed wood, limestone, marble, and granite, giving the inside a warm and cozy feel.

Photo by Chris Humphreys

Chapel on the Hill is a project that turned a Methodist Chapel near Middleton-In-Teasdale, England into a boutique property that anyone can rent out on Airbnb. Evolution Design kept its dramatic 19th century exterior while turning the inside into a luxurious cottage that can host seven people.

Photo © René de Wit

Ruud Visser Architecten designed House In A Church within an old wooden church from 1930 that rests along the river De Rotte in Rotterdam. The massive interior could fit an average of six family houses inside so they chose to build the house as a separate entity inside the church, leaving space to see the transition between the two.

Photo courtesy of LABLstudio

Cobble Hill Chez Church is a conversion designed by LABLstudio. The multi-level apartment now features modern furnishings and clean lines but it still respects the church’s architectural elements.

Photo © Dominique Uldry

Located in Bern, Switzerland, the 1924 Luke Chapel went from rundown to two new modern homes by Morscher Architekten. To prevent covering the large church windows and to avoid adding support posts, the top apartment is suspended within a concrete box above. The box’s facade was the perfect place to display artwork.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.