St. Bartholomew’s Church, redesigned by Maxim Velcovsky

Two Czech designers were given the opportunity to reinvent the interior of a (presumably Catholic) chuch in the East Bohemian village of Chodovice (here, I think). I haven’t been able to tell if the redesign was permanent, or how it was received by the church’s parishioners. The designers write: “The central nave has been stripped of dull repaints and left totally exposed so that visitors can watch the course of history on fragments and details on the wall. Illuminated by chandeliers adorned with pressed and roughly cut crystal, the bare space is dominated by an “army” of legendary chairs designed by Verner Panton with one crucial detail added – a Christian cross carved through the back of the chair.” There’s a lot going on here, much of which I find pleasing, some amusing. I love the idea of warmly revealing the church’s fragmentary history—and its connection to the generations who have worshiped in the space. The plastic chairs offer a wonderful double-reading: for design initiates they are indeed iconic, probably the first (1960), and possibly still the best-looking of the global family of one-piece molded chairs. For most people, though, they would probably read not as $260 design classics but as their $3 cousins, which are no doubt in use in many low-budget churches around the world. But those four-legged kin lack the stunning priest-in-white-cassock-esque sweeping view from behind.


St. Bartholomew’s Church, Chodovice (interior),” redesigned by Maxim Velcovsky and Jakub Berdych (Qubus Studio), photo from the studio’s site :: via Dezeen, 9 April 2007

Originally published at

Add Your Comments