Yoga and Wellness Center : Sperryville, Virginia
Historic structures line the street in this small country town in various styles, sizes, materials and colors. While many of these buildings are constructed in similar architectural styles, there are subtle yet visually pleasing variations on a stylistic theme. One specific building that falls into this category is the old Sperryville Episcopal Church, which is now transforming into a yoga and wellness center. The new addition sits far to the rear of the open site adjacent to the original structure, inherently becoming subsidiary to the original building. In paying homage to the old architecture, the new buildings massing, form, materiality and proportion are directly inspired by the old church. New rooflines connect to the existing and the massing of the new space remains shorter and secondary to the church at the forefront. While the placing of the windows nearest to the existing building start out in an even rhythm, as they move away they become more asymmetrical as a nod to breaking away from the original. In another nod to historic church architecture, a small chapel creates a bookend to the building. The proportions of the new end chapel are a directly scaled down and simplified version of the original church. An abstracted version of the high pointed arch window which directs the view and gives an uplifting sense, is added to the new gable of the addition. The style of Carpenter Gothic which pertains to the historic church, is simplified and abstracted for the new addition which allows the new to have a direct conversation with the old, while not taking away the prominence and importance of the existing architecture but by complimenting it. Modern architecture isnt always about making a statement, but can be a unique gesture that strengthens the surrounding context and gives new life and energy to an historic streetscape.
Paul Burk Photography