It’s one thing to be looking for a home with a little charm, a little history, but this new offering in the northern Basque country takes this wish list to a whole new level. The Church House redefines what it means for a home to have history. Originally a church, this property was built around 1530 and hosted worshippers for nearly four centuries before it was abandoned in the 1970s. It sat empty and neglected until the current owner stumbled across it and saw its potential. And thus begins the resurrection story of this property now on the market courtesy of The Singular Space.
Between these walls, the Renaissance meets the 21st century; vintage meets contemporary; the divine meets the blessedly mortal. While the home went through a thoroughly modern renovation, its medieval bones are still present in the original masonry, clerestory windows, and stone walls.
The 40-foot vaulted ceiling and spacious nave of the former church have been translated into the most spacious of open-plan homes. If you feel the call to confess your deepest darkest secrets here, be forewarned that the sound will likely carry around the room and up to the rafters.
The word on the wellness street is that meditation is a must, but our modern lives can make it nearly impossible to still our minds and find zen. But in this art- and light-filled contemplative space, mindfulness isn’t something you have to work at—it’s a state of being.
The apse of the church—where the high drama of Catholic mass once took place—has been transformed into the kitchen, which everyone knows is the setting for the high drama of the home.
In 2019, Dwell named the Church House one of the top 10 refurbished properties of the year after a three-year renovation carried out by Garmendia Cordero Arquitectos. The firm’s co-founder Carlos Garmendia Fernández told the magazine that, through the project, he wanted to "show that ruins can have value.”
As if living in a reformed church wasn’t romantic enough, this property in Sopuerta, Spain, is set in the middle of a series of forested hills and has a thriving garden on the property.
When you live in a house this fabulous, throwing your doors open to friends and family is a requirement. After all, it was a church once, and the “all are welcome” edict isn’t something you can renovate out of a property’s spirit. Luckily for you, there are plenty of areas to host your guests both indoors and out, including this patio that has raw wooden furniture inspired by its arboreal neighbors.
While looking at photos of gorgeous properties can light up our imaginations with future real estate possibilities, it can also be disheartening. Sure, you may have a million or so to drop on a fabulous new home, but do you have the artistic eye to decorate in the same cool-kid fashion? Here at Church House, your design prayers have been answered. The $1.9 million price tag includes some of the home’s art and furniture.
If you had any doubt that this house is perfect for someone of an artistic persuasion, you need look no further than this image. Imagine the epic novels you would write, the generation-defining songs you’d compose, the life you’d live if you were able to call a former church in Basque country “home.”
A floating wooden staircase leads up to the mezzanine level where the three bedrooms and two of the three bathrooms reside. You know what they say, the higher you live in the house, the more angelic your nightly dreams.
According to Garmendia, they wanted to achieve ”new architecture implanted into old.” But this aesthetic didn’t just apply to transforming the church’s mezzanine into a private living space or implanting the kitchen into the church apse. It also applied to pairing stunning modern minimalist light fixtures with polished cement floors and the original stone and plaster walls.
God is always watching—or, in this case, the occupant of this lofted room. This bedroom shows off the unvarnished pine that makes up the mezzanine and the 2,150 square feet of the blessedly gorgeous Church Home.