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Kita Place: St Sebastian Church Munster, Germany by Bolles + Wilson.

Photo credits: Sabine Ahlbrand-Dornseiff & Rudolf Wakonigg, Bolles + Wilson.

Many churches in the western hemisphere are experiencing falling attendances, and some are being de-consecrated. St Sebastian in Munster was one such church which has found a new and exciting lease of life as a children's nursery, a function for which places are in great demand.

Bolles + Wilson have exercised considerable creativity in rescuing the important elements of the existing architecture, such as its unusual elliptical nave. At the same time they have found unexpected space for the new programme.

A notable feature are the indoors, all-weather games decks. Though they fall within the old nave, they are designed climatically as exterior surfaces. The old brick walls have been perforated with a grid 0f 500 x 500mm openings to bring in air, ensuring excellent cross ventilation, whilst new translucent domes in the replaced roof bring in the light. The children will always be dry, but will enjoy the benefit of being outdoors.

Exterior play areas include a play racing car track, and a play house that also serves as an escape route from the interior games decks.

The renovation and re-styling has brought new life into a much loved building, and a community function entirely consistent with church values.

 

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DETAIL 7+8/2020
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