A Church in The Netherlands

St. Benedictusberg Abbey

The church and atrium are realised in a proportion of 3:8. The study below is based on a revised study with 7 drawings, presented by Dom Hans Van der Laan in a lecture on 12 December 1984. Here he changes the proportion into 3:7.

More important is the methodology presented in the study. Below we follow the step by step proportional analysis that starts with the altar and ends with the overall space.

© Photo Jeroen Verrecht © Photo Jeroen Verrecht

Dom Hans van der Laan explains:

'The church of Vaals has been designed like a long hall preceded by an atrium, accompanied by two galleries and ended by a transversal gallery. The atrium itself is enclosed on four sides by a gallery. Above the column-spacings of the three galleries and the closed back wall of the hall is a series of windows, with the same proportion as the column-spacings who bear the ceiling. The galleries of the hall together with those of the atrium have a flat roof, the nave itself has a pitched roof.'

‘In order to integrate the church in the whole of the existing  abbey of Bohm, an atrium was required. I gratefully accepted this necessity because it made it possible to create the galleries and the atrium as one large dense base, above which the open lantern of the windows and the roof would manifest the actual hall.’

'For me, the space of the choir with the altar should be almost a square with a small zone behind it for ceremonies because one should celebrate facing the believers. The part for the believers that has to precede should not be longer than its width, becuase the engagement of the believers in the celebration of the liturgy would not be fully appreciated in a longer space; I thus had to come up with an area of 3:7 but I didn't come further than the derivative of 7 i.e. 51/3 or 3:8 as it has been realised now.'

© Photo Jeroen Verrecht © Photo Jeroen Verrecht
Loading content…