Taking on a village church in Eastern bohemia was something of a departure for the ultra modernist design studio Qubus. But as far as juxtapositions go, it promised to be one of their best.
Designers Jakub Berdych and Maxim Velcovsky eschewed the glossy finishes of previous projects, choosing to embrace the original stone of St Bartholomew’s church in Chodovice. The result is a mid-renovation aesthetic which sees plaster and previous layers brought together in holy matrimony on the Baroque columns and vaulted ceilings.
Illuminating the inside are chandeliers of uncut crystal which helped keep Qubus within budget and are in keeping with the unfinished theme running through the nave. Pews have been replaced by rows of Verner Panton chairs, each with a newly-carved cross in the back. The alterations cost the artists their warranties on the Vitra furniture but it was a small price to pay. The chairs sit in militaristic formation on Persian rugs, somewhat secularizing the building’s purpose.
Still, the new interior manages to inspire awe and exude artistic merit in equal measure- in spite of it now looking a tad more luxury hotel than place of worship.