Before & After: A Brick Church in Quebec Becomes a Resonant Home

A family design-build team converts a historic church into an unforgettable dwelling that lifts the spirit.

The original metal roofing was saved in the renovation.

In 2015, Nicole Petit’s husband, Pierre Boivin, broached the subject of moving into a historic church—specifically the Saint-François-d’Assise estate, built in Frelighsburg, Quebec, in 1885. As Nicole recalls, her answer was an immediate no. “There was no way I would live in a church,” Nicole says. “We had a very modern house, and I had no intention to move away from this type of house.”

Black trim frames the original brick of The Church House. The 850-pound bell in the bell tower also dates from the 19th century.

Black trim frames the original brick of The Church House. The 850-pound bell in the bell tower also dates from the 19th century.

Two Humans & D.Boudreau medias inc.

The couple runs a family construction business, however, and ultimately, the prospect of a historic conversion proved too much to resist for Constructions Boivin. Nicole reached out to her sister, designer Danièle Petit of dp Espace Design, to join them in the venture.

Throughout the process, the group sought to maintain the church’s historic character, including defining elements like the bell tower and organ, while still modernizing the interior to make it suitable for a comfortable family home. “[Danièle] immediately saw that the elegant architecture of the building would provide a perfect backdrop to create an environment that would be both minimalist, but also full of history,” says Nicole.

The church was divided into two parts: a 2,500-square-foot home for Nicole and Pierre at the front, as well as a 1,500-square-foot office, garage, and workshop at the rear.

The church was divided into two parts: a 2,500-square-foot home for Nicole and Pierre at the front, as well as a 1,500-square-foot office, garage, and workshop at the rear.

Two Humans & D.Boudreau medias inc.

The original metal roofing was saved in the renovation.

The original metal roofing was saved in the renovation.

Two Humans & D.Boudreau medias inc.

See the full story on Dwell.com: Before & After: A Brick Church in Quebec Becomes a Resonant Home
Related stories:

©