Seeking virtual apostle statues in Kalkar

Hannah de Bruijn

On Friday 20 April we visited the St. Nicolaikirche in Kalkar. Our research team scrutinized the wood carvings and the stained glass windows of this church as inspiration for the Mixed Reality experiment with the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam.

Apostle statues and stained glass windows

The first experiment in the Oude Kerk is the virtual 'bringing back' of apostle statues to the High Choir, which were lost during the 'Beeldenstorm'. The St. Nicolaikirche was built about two centuries after the Old Church in Amsterdam. Here, the apostle images are still almost complete with the exception of one statue and decorated with detailed carvings. In order to take visitors from the Oude Kerk back to a different time, we use the hololens that provide an extra suggestive image layer on top of reality. This allows visitors to experience the atmosphere of the Oude Kerk and we can bring back historical elements virtually.

Lodewijk Loos, our software developer explains: "We paid a visit to the church to get an idea of the atmosphere. We then try to translate this into a virtual layer that we are going to create. Because we do not know what it looked like exactly in the Oude Kerk, we aim to find a form that one the one hand shows enough to speak to the imagination, but on the other hand also leaves interpretation open to the visitor."

During this sunny day, we were also able to study the stained-glass windows well. What Lodewijk and Alice Steneker, our game artist, especially noticed was the beautiful light and various effects that the windows cause: "some windows cause a real reflection on the ground, while other windows give a more abstract colour pattern." All things to take along in the design.

What's next?

In the coming period, Alice will be busy drawing and designing the apostle statues for the High Choir, inspired by the statues in Kalkar. Important in this is also the form research, to determine in which style the images are displayed. Soon a report will follow on the world of a game artist.

Do you want to stay informed of developments in the project? Follow our reports via the project page or via Instagram with hashtag #mixedrealityoudekerk.

About the author

  • Hannah de Bruijn worked as an intern at the Interface group of Waag.