Master Thesis: 21 Vacant Churches/Chapels: Redefining the Future Paradigms of Work
Adaptive Reuse of St. Barbara Church
by Siranuysh Martirosyan
Dr. Marija Maric
Spring Semester 2023
This thesis explores the potential of the deconsecrated church vacancy to tackle pressing issues that Luxembourg citizens face today. Particularly, in the period of land commodification, it is crucial to consider vacancy to rethink the modes of living, working, and utilizing the space commonly. The research unpacks the legal framework governing the land and building ownership of the deconsecrated churches by analyzing the 2018 Law that instigated a significant historical shift. This research was supported by a comprehensive field trip to the 21 deconsecrated churches that gave valuable firsthand insights into the churches’ current state conditions in the correlation to their urban morphologies.
This thesis unfolds the capacity of collective church vacancy to address the issues of daily work commute to Luxembourg city. Through the adaptive reuse of the St. Barbara church in Differdange into a worker cooperative, it strives to shed light on the future of work and working spaces organized around principles of self-governance where workers are the ones who take care and maintain their work environment. Within a secular society’s framework, these 21 deconsecrated churches are redefined as commonly used spaces for a shared economy, knowledge, values, and responsibilities.