The future of Defunct Religious Buildings: Dutch Approaches to their Adaptive Reuse

Kirsten Velthuis, Dirk HR Spennemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Across the western world membership in the established organized churches is on the decline with a concomitant reduction in the need for churches and church halls. As redundant and unused churches are the focus of vandalism and decay owners and heritage managers are looking for options to adaptively reuse such buildings. This paper reviews the literature on the reuse of churches in the Netherlands, which has long history of innovatively addressing the problems. The options available range from reuse for religious purposes by other denominations or faiths to community use (multipurpose, sport, music etc) and private use either commercial or residential. The attitudes of the community and the original property owners have a major role in which adaptive reuse is successful. Because of its long history, the Dutch experience in adaptive reuse of religious buildings has much to offer heritage managers in other countries just faced with this emergent management issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-66
Number of pages24
JournalCultural Trends
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

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