Brisbane-based architecture studio DAHA merged old and new with the Church House, an eye-catching modern home and adaptive reuse project. The unusual project attached a sleek structure of concrete, steel, and glass to a brick church (known as the Church of Figuration) that was built in 1924. While the church wasn’t moved, the architects carefully positioned the new-build based on climatic site conditions and to optimize passive heating and cooling and conditions for a photovoltaic solar array and water harvesting.
The Church of Figuration was originally purchased as part of a $2.4million AUD hillside property in Norman Park, the sale came with the condition that the heritage-listed Church of Transfiguration be preserved. Thus, the architects kept the church as the property’s focal point by retaining sight lines: the heritage building is flanked by a tennis court on one side and a manicured lawn and landscape on the other. The elevated site provides sweeping views of the neighborhood.
“The Church House extension is a sympathetic adaptation of an existing heritage church into a unique family home,” wrote the architects, who connected the church and extension with a dark zinc tunnel. “The extension responds to the grand scale and form of the existing church through robust materiality and formal gestures, creating balance between the old and the new.” Although the church’s facade has been kept intact, the interior character was changed to serve as the family’s entertainment room with a mezzanine-level home office. The extension houses three bedrooms and bathrooms. Interior designer Georgia Cannon carried out the minimalist aesthetic of cool-toned concrete, dark timber, steel, and glass.
Photos © Cathy Schusler