Helmond (NB): O.L. Vrouwe ten Hemelopneming (J. Margry, 1914-1915,
Architect A.A.J. Margry died in 1911. However, there's a story that before
his death he designed a church for Helmond, the third catholic church of that
city. Unlikely, but not impossible, especially given the often confusing history
of the Margry office. Fact is, construction of the church did not
start until 1914, three years after A.A.J.'s death had left his son Jos in
charge of the Margry firm. Whether Jos used his father's plans or designed
the church on his own is uncertain, but the design is usually accredited to Jos.
It's a cruciform basilica in so-called neo-Byzantine style, which is actually
a kind of neo-Romanesque. The front is
flanked by two towers, a short polygonal one on the left and a tall square one
on the right side. The "Byzantine" element is an octagonal crossing-tower with a
dome on top. The nave has a wide central aisle with a clerestorey and narrower side-aisles. The
transept has semi-circular closures. The choir has a similar closure, resulting
in a clover-shaped eastern part when seen from above. Polygonal stair-turrets
flank the choir on both sides.
The church was built in two stages. In 1914-1915 the choir and the transept
were built, as well as the crossing-tower and a very short part of the nave. By that time the First World War
had forced many of the builders in the army, frustrated the supply of building
materials and caused a financial crisis. Work was stopped and the small part of the nave
that had been built was closed with a facade. This facade was simple but still
tasteful enough in case the church should not be completed. However, in 1925-1928 the church was
finally completed according to the plans, when
the nave, side-aisles and frontal towers were built.