Bi-folding door – Church in Hasbergen
“Straight away, my wife and I saw the hidden potential in so many parts of this special building.”
Rainer Typke, owner

Anything is possible

Agatha and Rainer Typke wanted to live in an unusual building – a search that took them to Hasbergen, near Osnabruck, in north-west Germany. “I love unusual building styles and the use of different materials,” Agatha Typke explains. “I’ve always dreamed of converting a special building myself and designing it to my own specifications. We wanted to find an unusual building to live in, somewhere we just really loved. “We wanted our home to be somewhere we could relax –but also somewhere that would never stop fascinating us.” 

During their search, the couple came across many fascinating buildings: an old prison, a charming industrial hall and a disused church. “That was the one that really clicked with us,” says Rainer Typke of their unusual find. The church was built in 1980, and was used by the local congregation until 2005. After this, it remained unused for a while – until the Typkes decided to move their lives to Hasbergen in 2012. 

Agatha und Rainer Typke
Agatha und Rainer Typke

An unusual building

The couple planned all the renovation work themselves. “We always wanted to keep the character of the church. That was what gave us the idea to highlight certain elements, especially the prominent lancet arches.” Thanks to the coloured cathedral glass, the window elements are now the centrepiece of an open living space that is, in all other respects, very subtle and restrained. 

One of the real highlights is the built-in bi-folding door that leads to the patio. “It was important for us to ensure that the characteristic church glass was also used in the bi-folding doors. It was always going to be a custom solution, but at the end of the day, it gives our home that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.” 

Kirche in Hasbergen
Kirche in Hasbergen

A dream come true

Many other aspects of the old church were also incorporated into the design. Today, visitors enter the building through the retained church door and arrive in the old nave, which is now home to the open living, dining and sleeping area. A small spiral staircase leads to a gallery – once the organist’s seat, this is now home to the bedroom.  

There is still a little work to be done in the Typkes' repurposed church, but that’s exactly how the couple like it. “Whenever we can, we do a bit more planning and work on our church. It’s the perfect holiday for us – working on our dream life in a unique atmosphere.”