Scheveningen (ZH): O.L. Vrouwe van Lourdeskerk
(A.J. Kropholler & C.M. van Moorsel, 1913-1926)
The O.L. Vrouwekerk in
Scheveningen could have been A.J. Kropholler's first church, but it
didn't happen as planned. Although Kropholler had designed many
buildings before, he had never built a church, until he was given the
assignment for a new Roman Catholic church in Scheveningen. It was to
be more than a church. The complex would include houses too, as well as
a chapel. A Roman Catholic complex in a mostly protestant environment,
the first of several such complexes Kropholler designed in his long
career. In 1913 work started. The chapel and the houses were completed
accrding to the design, but of the church only the lower part of the
tower was built. The Den Haag municipality, of which Scheveningen was,
and is, a part, did not accept the design. Instead of changing the
design Kropholler quit the job. In 1920 C.M. van Moorsel made a new
design which was built in 1925-1926. Both Kropholler's and Van
Moorsel's parts of the building are in Traditionalistic style.
Although the Delft
School movement of Traditionalistic architecture wasn't
formed until the 1920's Kropholler's chapel can be regarded as a very
early example of the style that became synonomous for the movement.
This chapel was Kropholler's first religious work and Kropholler's
style for such buildings hardly changed in the next four decades. A
typical feature of the chapel is the front, which is made of two parts,
one of which is bevelled. In the other part is a sculpture of a pelican
feeding its young with its own blood; this sculpture was made by Joseph
Mendes da Costa, who made several similar sculptures for some of
Kropholler's later churches as well. The chapel itself is a one-aisled
brick building. It's covered by a roof on a wooden construction.
Van Moorsel's church illustrates that, even though M.J. Granpré Molière
lead the Delft School, it must have been Kropholler who pioneered the
style it became known for. The completed church is a three-aisled
building with a very wide central aisle and narrow side-aisles. The
choir on the outside is hidden from view by other parts of the complex.
At its side is a narrow tower with saddle-roof. A difference with
Kropholler's work is the use of rectangular windows. Another remarkable
feature of the church is the new entrance which had to be positioned
diagonally on the nave. due to the surrounding buildings. Van Moorsel
did not complete the other tower with the old entrance as started by
Kropholler. Kropholler eventually finished this tower himself in 1965
as a gift from the notorious project developer R. Zwolsman.