The designer turned the old church into a residential building: the kitchen in the altar and the bedroom in the bell tower
The designer turned the old church into a residential building: the kitchen in the altar and the bedroom in the bell tower

In the northern part of Spain, there is an old church from the middle of the 16th century. It used to function, but over the past forty years it has been abandoned and forgotten by everyone. And finally, the building was restored. True, they did not completely restore it, but rather gave it a new life - a secular one. One Spanish designer turned a former church into his own home.

The creative name of the Bilbao-based designer behind this daring project is Tas Kareaga. At 31, he is a graphic designer and photographer by vocation and an adventurer by nature who considers himself an adventurer.

In these parts, Kareaga was looking for an old farmhouse or a small castle to turn it into something original, cozy and suitable for a quiet creative life. It is interesting that he is not a professional designer, but a self-taught, but at that time he already had experience in creating original spaces. Before moving to these places, he lived in a loft apartment, which he created on the site of an old showroom, and before that he made repairs in his former apartment.

Tas did not look for an easy way and decided on a desperate experiment

Spending long hours on real estate websites looking for a suitable old house, Koreaga was in luck. The ad stated that a plot of land with a dilapidated building was for sale. When the designer saw that we were talking about an old church, he was so amazed and intrigued that he decided to call immediately.

As it turned out later, the bishop decided to sell the dilapidated church for a reason. Demolition is very expensive by law. Therefore, it was easier to simply sell the church to someone who would agree to restore it - and it no longer matters how and for what.

This building was once a church

“After a year of negotiations, ideas, life turns, nerves and doubts, everything was finally formalized,” Tas recalls. “When I entered this building, there was so much rubbish in it that I was simply horrified and even confused.

At this point, the designer doubted whether it was possible to restore this building at all. He turned to a friend-architect for advice, but he reassured him: they say, in the old days, they were building for centuries, and if the church stood for half a millennium, it will stand for as long.

This is what the room looked like before the renovation

To restore the church building, Tas had to work for several years. Having spent all his savings, the designer hired specially trained people to restore the building, whom he personally supervised, but he did much of the work himself. I had to drag stones, dig the earth, and wield a hammer.

Being in this residential building, you won't even think that there was once a church here

Carrying out the restoration, the young man resorted to the help of an architect he knew, but the entire overall design was developed exclusively by himself.

Once upon a time there was a bell tower

Finally, the rework was completed. The church has become a large and very creative residential building. Of course, this is not an easy question from an ethical point of view. For example, the designer arranged the kitchen where the altar used to be. And the guest room is where the bell tower used to be. However, if Tas had not taken the building, it would have remained a heap of ruins, which, unfortunately, no one but him needed.

Before the designer got down to business, the building was practically ruins

Sometimes a designer rents out the premises of his house for photo shoots - for example, in his interiors they shot for furniture catalogs. The owner also plans to hold gastronomic tastings in the former church.

Sometimes the owner rents out premises for photo sessions

Yes, some projects are so provocative that they cause diametrically opposite reactions: delight, indignation, and surprise. Perhaps no less curious to know why Italian designer provocateur created a chair in the shape of a female body

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