Sacred architecture becomes modern living space: GEALAN-KUBUS® all-glass system brings light into historic walls


For more than 60 years the Vredeskerk has served as a church. Today it is an excellent example of how modern living can emerge from sacred architecture. The GEALAN-KUBUS® all-glass system plays a major role in the successful fusion of tradition and modernity.

Built in 1953, the impressive walls of the Vredeskerk in Tilburg, the Netherlands, are celebrating their 70th anniversary this year. For more than 60 years, services were held in the "Friedenskirche" - which its name means in German. In the meantime, the church building has been rededicated: In meticulous planning and masterpiece of craftsmanship, rooms of modern living have been created in the university city. The planners used the GEALAN-KUBUS® premium all-glass system as a functional and optical hinge between tradition and modernity. 

Thomas Bedaux from the architectural firm explains why the profile system was exactly the right thing for the much-noticed renovation project: "What we did from the beginning was that we always put the windows behind masonry, so that you can't see any frame at all. That's why we chose GEALAN window profiles for this project." 


39 apartments were inserted into the side aisles of the brick church. The main nave, where worshippers used to pray, now serves as a co-living space for young residents with its tall columns. The ornament-free style of the church continues to look modern. The only intervention in the existing substance was the enlargement of the side windows. The architect explains the necessity: "The church used to have small windows. You need more daylight than if you use the church as a church. So we made the windows lower. On the first floor you have a windowsill and then about two meters high windows. At the bottom you have floor-to-ceiling windows, also about two meters high. We reduced the size of the masonry – you could see the remains of the cut edges. We covered this with aluminium and installed the GEALAN-KUBUS® system behind the masonry."

The new windows bring a lot of light into the interior and optically restrain themselves in GEALAN-acrylcolor® quartz grey – in favour of the sacral feeling of space. 

Combining design and functionality

Innovative window systems enable builders, architects and planners to realize energy-efficient building envelopes with high design standards. As in the demanding Vredeskerk project, GEALAN's flagship GEALAN-KUBUS® system ensures maximum glass content for windows and balcony doors thanks to its minimal profile views inside and out. With a wing invisible from the outside, the premium system allows an extraordinary amount of light in the rooms, brings modern optics without overloading the historic building.

The focus in the development of the GEALAN-KUBUS® window system was placed on consistent design in order to offer customers beautiful windows with real distinguishing features. For this reason, seals on the frame were completely dispensed with in the design process. This gave rise to the challenging task of integrating the different functions of glass seal and frame stop seal in one seal cross-section.

But the appearance is only one side of the coin: The GEALAN-KUBUS® all-glass system achieves top values for driving rain tightness, wind load and air permeability. The system dimension is 100mm for both the frame-sash combination and the cuff. This means that the cuff and lateral frame parts have the same face width, which conveys symmetry and aesthetics to the eye of the beholder.


Historic building receives excellent insulation

The walls of the Vredeskerk have received support in terms of energy efficiency through their new windows: With a tested Uf value of 0.88 W/(m²K), the innovative all-glass system GEALAN-KUBUS® achieves the best performance values and also meets the criteria of ift passive house suitability. The excellent thermal insulation properties are achieved through an innovative profile design and the targeted, resource-saving use of IKD® foam technology in the frame profile. Good to know for window manufacturers: With the STV® option, static dry glazing, GEALAN-KUBUS® combines all GEALAN innovations in one product as a premium system.

Architect Thomas Bedaux is very satisfied with the conversion of the Vredeskerk in Tilburg: "When we finished, the people from the village were very happy and now it is a monument. So it was a church for 50 years, and now it's going to be housing for the next 50 or 100 years."

In a short video, the architect takes you through the impressive premises of the modernized Vredeskerk:

About the renovation project:

  • Name object: Vredeskerk (Church of Peace)
  • City / Country: Tilburg / Netherlands 
  • Year of construction: 1953
  • Year of renovation: 2022
  • System: GEALAN-KUBUS® 
  • Colour: GEALAN-acrylcolor® RAL 7039  
  • Architect: Bedaux de Brouwer Architekten 
  • Processor: Wijnsma Kozijnen B.V., Alkulux B.V.

Marc Schenk


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©2023 GEALAN Fenster-Systeme GmbH