The old harbour church in Vesterø has been given a new lease of life and now houses, Læsø Kur, a modern spa and wellness centre. By utilising the island’s mineral-rich salt, the project is rooted in Læsø’s cultural heritage and traditional use of salt.
The old church tower is still a landmark for the town and visible when you sail into the harbour. But the bells no longer ring, because the church plays another role now in a new architectural context. The island’s local saltworks came up with the idea of using the by-products from the production of salt to help psoriasis patients.
The transformation from church to spa gave the old church tower a new, modern lower body, inspired by the surrounding dune landscape of the island. From the church tower, visitors can enjoy the views of the harbour and the water, while in the new spa, psoriasis patients, tourists and the island’s residents can enjoy baths and treatments based on the salt for which Læsø is famous.
“The church does not limit, but enhances the new building. It gives it character, history and roots. Friis & Moltke succeeded in placing the building in the present with a view of both past and future.” Olav Juul Gaarn Larsen, former Mayor of Læsø
The renovation of the church has retained its role as a gathering point and a place for reflection, well-being and contemplation. The local island community has a stronger position in terms of using its natural resource, while the preservation of the built heritage has become a major economic asset for Læsø’s business development. After being empty for many years, the church now creates jobs and attracts tourists, while stories of the island’s history and cultural heritage live on.