1.28.2011

Feature Friday: 19th Century Chapel turned Home

A 19th Century Baptist Chapel sat vacant for 30 years until an adventurous couple purchased the place. With unknown intentions of what to do with it, the couple searched for architects who were not only up for the challenge but also well equipped with the imagination to make it happen. One year later, they settled on architects, Alan Organschi and Lisa Gray to make this once public sanctuary, their very own sanctuary. The architects decided to leave the exterior as it was and find a way to connect the interior  in a modern and functional way.

The one exterior architectural element that they played with was the front door. The original door of the chapel was unknown so they replicated a white-cedar door that architect had once seen in Japan. As described in Dwell, "its undulating waves tease and invite, telegraphing the idea that a different story is being told within."

The highly textured cedar door is seen from the entry hallway, where the couple displays their art collection like they are gallery walls.

The living room has some very interesting furniture pieces and decor: the coffee table is made from several street signs, the IKEA sofa is on loan from their son until they find a better solution, some of the art work in the house is extremely valuable while others are worth pennies, there is a grand Venetian glass chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and yet it somehow all works.

The fireplace crackles where the altar once stood.  The mantle displays the couple's eclectic taste -  
"Neapolitan bamboo is the backdrop for a Warhol collage of Marilyn Monroe, an inexpensive papier-mâché sculpture, a Vigliaturo glass piece from the gallery in Venice where the chandelier and bamboo canes came from, and a Picasso plate."

The architects clearly captured the couples interest in simple loft spaces. The incredible pod hovering above the kitchen and the openness of the living room, definitely creates that loft feel. Beautiful glass Deco screens frame the kitchen space, adding just the right amount of funk to an otherwise plain space. The kitchen - a very special area for the wife, a professional chef - is still incomplete. They plan on taking their time designing such an important space.



The master bedroom and bath are located in the pod above the kitchen. These private areas are designed to feel like a retreat at sea. The couple came from a much larger home full of kids who are now moved out, so they are very happy to have such a cozy loft-like space to nestle into.
This chapel-turned-home definitely has some unexpected and wild design features (some which I like, others I don't). I must say, I love the19th Century structure and grassy lawn. In fact, I think I would consider making the back of the house the front.



Images: Dwell

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