Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTs and developer The Rubin Group have shaped The Sanctuary out of the historic structure and exterior features of an iconic 1897 Gothic Revival church in Washington, D.C.’s Capital Hill neighborhood. The full condominium community includes the adapted church, its annex, and two adjacent townhouses, covering almost 35,000 square feet.
The church was entirely gutted in the restoration process, leaving only the sanctuary framing, the annex’s concrete floors, and the top floor’s vaulted ceilings. The bell tower—previously inaccessible— and an original stairwell and wooden staircase were preserved and restored. A new third floor and mezzanine level occupy the church’s once-open vertical spaces, and stairways within select units allow access to views from the rooftop and tower.
All of The Sanctuary’s 30 residences are unique, with spaces defined by the existing architecture, including original stained glass windows, some of them multiple stories tall. Each of the windows, which encompass a mix of ages and styles, were restored and reassembled by hand for the final project using original glass, historic reproduction glass, and vision glass in select windows.
All hazardous materials in the 120-year-old structure were removed and replaced with new finish products that exceed LEED sustainability standards, including low-albedo roofing and closed-cell foam perimeter insulation throughout. A new stormwater management system includes an Eco Cline green roof system, bio-retention planters, and pervious pavers in open areas.