Bilbao-based architecture studio Garmendia Cordero Arquitectos has transformed an abandoned Renaissance church into a house in Sopuerta, Spain. Named Tas’s Church, the 190-square-meter space used the church’s existing layout and adapted it for a flexible layout, with modern touches, while keeping the traces of the history inside.
For the project, the studio, led by Álvaro Cordero Iturregui and Carlos Garmendia Fernández, has closely worked with the client to convert the space according to historical presence of the building. “Any change in the use of a space requires a series of actions that adapt such place to the new needs that are presented beyond the implicit ones that entails the updating of it,” said Garmendia Cordero Arquitectos. “On this occasion, the task of transformation was as motivating as it was exceptional: transforming an abandoned Renaissance church into a home.”
At the start of the project, the building was without cover, collapsed in its own interior, and in a worrying state of structural instability. The idea of intervening in the most sensitive way possible was prioritized at all times, touching the church only when there was no other alternative, understanding the action as an outsider element implanted within a ruin.
The way to think a dwelling is directly linked to the lifestyle of the inhabitant and, for that reason, this project is the result of a desire to tame an unusual space, to do so with respect to the previous history but with contemporary concepts, to understand housing as an open space and to set up the home as a meeting place, as an opportunity to socialize housing architecture.