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Stein-Kerensheide (L): St. Jozef (A.J.N. Boosten, 1939-1940)

In the late 1920's the village of Stein was expanded with the new Kerensheide neighbourhood. In 1936 the first preparations were made for the founding of a parish. A temporary church was openened in the attic of the school. The same year architect Alphons Boosten was commissioned to design the new church.

Without a doubt the original plans, finished in March 1940 included some features that weren't acceptable for the conservative Roermond diocese, but despite changes to the design the result looks surprisingly modern. Shortly thereafter the German army invaded the Netherlands, but despite the occupation construction could begin in October. Lack of cement slowed down the construction until in early 1942 it was stopped altogether for a few months. Work resumed in March and, despite a German ban on building activities issued in Juy, continued until in 1943 the church completed.

The St. Jozef is a three-aisled cruciform pseudo-basilica with a big cylindrical crossing-tower which contains the choir, a feature that returned a couple of times in Boosten's work later. It is closed with an ambulatory and three cylindrical chapels with spires. The nave has a big portal at the front, with an arcade of five high arches behind which is a rose-window. In front of the nave is a big, once again cylindrical, tower, with an open upper part. To prevent major damage by the sagging of either part, the tower and the nave are only connected to each other by a small arch.








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