Innovative glass vault structure in monumental church

Outdated and dark. This is how the current meeting space of the St. Janskerk in Schiedam could best be described. The national monument was completed in 1425. Over the centuries, the church has been transformed into a three-aisled hall church. In 1949 the small gathering space was added to the church as a wedding chapel. In 1988 the room, located in the northern choir, was given a roof, which closed it off from its sacral surroundings.

To connect the meeting space with the church, Mei designed a new glass roof for the small chapel. The roof from 1988 will be replaced by a glass vault structure. The renewed meeting space then becomes a light and spacious space, that visually connects to the church. The glass arch will be decorated with a contemporary painting, inspired on the history of the St. Janskerk.

The new glass roof is placed on a slender steel structure upon the existing wooden walls from 1949. Only a few reversible adjustments are made to the monument, so the impact of the renovation is reduced to a minimum. The steel structure is finished with a bronze-colored perforated plate that is consistent with the color of the wooden structure. With some smart detailing, all necessary technology, like light, acoustics, and heating, are integrated in the space behind the perforated plate.