When it comes to the adaptive reuse of churches, especially those with historic easements, one thing really matters: windows. Just ask architect Jai Singh Khalsa, whose firm has been repurposing churches and other institutional buildings since 1980. “We're currently doing a number of buildings that belong to the archdiocese [of Boston],” says Khalsa. “Every church is a little different. The window pattern in old Catholic churches isn't as good for conversion. You need to put more holes in the building.”

That wasn't the case with Oxford House, a former Christian Science church in Newton, Mass., that's now home to 11 condominium apartments. By “finessing the plan within inches,” Khalsa was able to maintain the sanctuary's striking window pattern. The auditorium-style church now boasts parking in the basement, two levels of housing, and a mezzanine level. The apartments feature 16-foot ceilings with lofts up to 25-feet high. And one condo boasts an extra-special room: a two-story library that incorporates the steeple.

See all 2007 Builder's Choice Award Winners

Category: Adaptive reuse;

Architect: Khalsa Design, Somerville, Mass.;

Builder/Developer: World Realty + Development, Newton, Mass.

Grand Award - The Oxford House

Grand Award - The Oxford House

  • Grand Award - The Oxford House

    Grand Award - The Oxford House

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    Grand Award - The Oxford House

    Photo: Kevin Burke

  • Grand Award - The Oxford House

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    Grand Award - The Oxford House

    Photo: Kevin Burke

    When it comes to the adaptive reuse of churches, especially those with historic easements, one thing really matters: windows. Just ask architect Jai Singh Khalsa, whose firm has been repurposing churches and other institutional buildings since 1980.

  • Grand Award - The Oxford House

    http://www.builderonline.com/Images/c2b8b225-aa4e-418e-baf5-db13b2d5516e_tcm138-419039.jpg?width=400

    true

    400

    Grand Award - The Oxford House

    Photo: Kevin Burke

    The auditorium-style church now boasts parking in the basement, two levels of housing, and a mezzanine level. The apartments feature 16-foot ceilings with lofts up to 25-feet high. And one condo boasts an extra-special room: a two-story library that incorporates the steeple.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Boston, MA.