Launch Slideshow

The former sanctuary, which was sold to the American Legion in the 1930s, makes for an inspiring workspace.

Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects

Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects

  • A parametrically designed office adds a modern take on an apse to the former church that Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects inhabits.

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    A parametrically designed office adds a modern take on an apse to the former church that Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects inhabits.

    600

    Bilyana Dimitrova

    A parametrically designed office adds a modern take on an apse to the former church that Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects inhabits.

  • Bent steel tubes bolted into the former church's end wall support the zinc-clad structure, with overlapping panels allowing light to enter through upper clerestory windows.

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    Bent steel tubes bolted into the former church's end wall support the zinc-clad structure, with overlapping panels allowing light to enter through upper clerestory windows.

    576

    Bilyana Dimitrova

    Bent steel tubes bolted into the former church's end wall support the zinc-clad structure, with overlapping panels allowing light to enter through upper clerestory windows.

  • Beneath the continuous shell of the outer structure, wire lath, stucco, and membrane water systems ensure that not a drop of water enters the addition.

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    Beneath the continuous shell of the outer structure, wire lath, stucco, and membrane water systems ensure that not a drop of water enters the addition.

    576

    Bilyana Dimitrova

    Beneath the continuous shell of the outer structure, wire lath, stucco, and membrane water systems ensure that not a drop of water enters the addition.

  • The former sanctuary, which was sold to the American Legion in the 1930s, makes for an inspiring workspace.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp9A8A%2Etmp_tcm48-1993524.jpg

    true

    The former sanctuary, which was sold to the American Legion in the 1930s, makes for an inspiring workspace.

    600

    Bilyana Dimitrova

    The former sanctuary, which was sold to the American Legion in the 1930s, makes for an inspiring workspace.

  • When MHS Architects founder Dean Marchetto, AIA, lifted the dropped ceiling tiles installed by the American Legion during its occupancy, he found the original, barrel-vaulted ceiling above.

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    When MHS Architects founder Dean Marchetto, AIA, lifted the dropped ceiling tiles installed by the American Legion during its occupancy, he found the original, barrel-vaulted ceiling above.

    576

    Bilyana Dimitrova

    When MHS Architects founder Dean Marchetto, AIA, lifted the dropped ceiling tiles installed by the American Legion during its occupancy, he found the original, barrel-vaulted ceiling above.

  • The new addition adds a modern flair to the office, as the main body of the church is primarily outfitted with Arts & Crafts furniture design.

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    The new addition adds a modern flair to the office, as the main body of the church is primarily outfitted with Arts & Crafts furniture design.

    572

    Bilyana Dimitrova

    The new addition adds a modern flair to the office, as the main body of the church is primarily outfitted with Arts & Crafts furniture design.

  • The Marchtetto Higgins Stieve Architects office in Hoboken, N.J., has a modest public face; MHS Architects chose to play off this demure exterior with the patterning of the tricolor zinc-clad addition at the rear of the building.

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    The Marchtetto Higgins Stieve Architects office in Hoboken, N.J., has a modest public face; MHS Architects chose to play off this demure exterior with the patterning of the tricolor zinc-clad addition at the rear of the building.

    600

    Bilyana Dimitrova

    The Marchtetto Higgins Stieve Architects office in Hoboken, N.J., has a modest public face; MHS Architects chose to play off this demure exterior with the patterning of the tricolor zinc-clad addition at the rear of the building.

When Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects (MHS Architects) founder Dean Marchetto, AIA, drove by a former church in 1995, it occurred to him that the building might make an interesting office. The church, which had been sold to the American Legion in the 1930s, had had its interior outfitted with a dropped ceiling and wood-paneled walls. But Marchetto was optimistic. Upon lifting up the ceiling tiles, he saw the original barrel-vaulted ceiling above. He purchased the building and turned the old sanctuary space into a beautiful studio.

Fast-forward to 2011, when MHS decided to expand its flat-backed church building with a rounded, modern, apselike addition. Partnering with nearby Stevens Institute of Technology, Marchetto and his team designed a zinc-clad structure supported by bent steel tubes over a ground-level parking space. Working with parametric tools, the firm had each zinc panel custom laser-cut, numbered, and shipped to the site, and then carefully bent and installed. Now, as Marchetto tells it, when clients walk down the former church aisle to his office in the apse, “It’s a nice transition from the formal space into the more freeform, interesting space. … It’s very dramatic as clients come in.”