The Heilig Hart Kerk is an impressive neo-gothic church, designed by Peter Bekkers and built in 1902. In 1980 the church has gained the status of ‘Rijksmonument’ which means that the building itself and the design is protected by the Dutch government. Until the mid-nineties this building was used as a church by the Diocese of Haarlem. But then people did not visit the church anymore and in 1996 the diocese was forced to sell the church. A project developer created 61 apartments in a new structure, a ‘flat’, that was built in the church on its own foundation.
Almost nothing needed to be changed to both the interior and exterior of the church. This was done in such a way that in each apartment one can experience an original part of the church. The great massive stained glass windows are maintained and the entry of the new flat is beautifully supported by an modern ionic staircase which is on both sides decorated with huge artworks. Because of the reversible installation package of the new flat this renovation project has won the ‘Nationale Restauratieprijs’ in 1999. Whenever needed the apartments can be taken out in order to establish a new destination for this great building.
The Heilig Hart Kerk is located in a small shopping district close to the old center of Haarlem. One can explore by foot the nice and vivid inner-city of Haarlem with a great number of shops, restaurants and bars. The railway station is five minutes by foot and connects to Amsterdam in only 15 minutes, eight times per hour! The North-Sea beach, the highway A9, the port of IJmuiden and Schiphol Airport can all be reached within 20 minutes by car.
In short, it is a great place at a great location for combining work and leisure !