The owners of the new homes in this project in the grounds of the former Sint-Servatius church in Wijbosch, Brabant recently opened their front doors for the first time. The project has transformed the former church and other buildings into a residential development named De Beukenhof. The stand-out feature of the homes is their rugged, contemporary architecture that seamlessly weaves the new into the fabric of the existing landscape thanks to its clever and original use of natural materials.
The Sint-Servatius church in Wijbosch was decommissioned in mid-2013. The pastors and chaplains departed, leaving behind a spacious plot of land that was home to an impressive, cruciform architecture church built in the 1950s. A potential residential location bursting with promise, and a massive challenge, according to Jeroen Bestebreurtje, owner of Abeco, the development company tasked with redeveloping the site. The project was designed by Woudstra Architecten.
Sympathetic to the surroundings
Some 15 new homes have been built on the grounds adjacent to the church. Woudstra: “These homes are constructed in a horseshoe shape that cradles the three monumental beech trees that lend their name to the project. The church stands at the ‘opening’ of the horseshoe, effectively forming a circle with the houses. The roof line of the homes increases relative to their proximity to the Sint-Servatius church: patio homes for senior citizens on the outskirts, then terraced, starter homes followed by larger semi-detached and detached homes for people with a more generous budget closer to the church. This creates a natural, visual progression.”