On January 8, 2002 fire destroyed the West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Viewing the ruins we were struck by the power of what remained and what could be imagined. Some walls remained, but no roofs. Space opened to the sky and light penetrated the scarred interior. The light that filled the ruin led to the idea of layering of light and of creating a sense of praying outdoors.
The new church is built of the same stone as the old. While some portions precisely replicate sections of the walls that survived the fire, a new abstract spirit informs the main body of the church. The interior, once dark, is now filled with light that enters through slots between the roof and walls. Over the new front door, a pergola also brings modulated light into the space.
AWARDS Design Honor Award, International Masonry Institute, 2007