Jamie Hubick and his wife Kari MacIntyre fell in love with the idea of architecture and design. It’s something the Victoria couple can’t help but look at wherever they go.
So when the opportunity arose to purchase a peaked-roof, 1912 church in Fernwood, the couple began dreaming about all the things they could do with such a unique property in the heart of a vibrant community close to downtown.
“I said wouldn’t this be cool? Can you imagine living in a church? Who gets to do that? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Hubick, 42, noting the church had a cathedral ceiling that’s 22-feet high, but it was the history that caught his attention. The building was used by a variety of different religious orders, the last being the local Victoria chapter of the Order or Orange.
“We loved the idea of taking something old and adding contemporary flare to it.”
After purchasing the property, the couple got to work designing their own plans for their new home with a goal of preserving and enhancing the historical and cultural architecture while making the space functional and livable.
The roof was rebuilt and insulated from the outside in and 90 per cent of the exterior windows were replaced. Eight skylights were added to the peaked roof, the original fir floors were refinished and the original leaded glass windows were incorporated into a partial feature wall in the loft.
A number of contemporary features were also added, such as heated floors throughout the ensuite and shower, a custom quartz island/dining table, custom light fixtures, a modern 48-inch gas fireplace and a five-foot wide purpose built fir door on an offset pivot hinge.
One of the biggest challenges, said Hubick, was dealing with all the curious neighbours passing by.
“There was just a constant flow of people wondering what was going on, which is great fun, but it kind of stops the work flow and can be dangerous,” said Hubick. “People thought we were going to tear it down.”
Five months later, the conversion was complete, leaving the couple filled with pride.
“It’s not something we ever imagined we were going to get to do. It was a dream come true really,” Hubick added.
The couple have loved every minute of living in their stylish 2,400-square-foot home, but eventually they decided to put it up for sale and move onto another project in Cordova Bay. The home sold within 48 hours and had multiple offers from anxious buyers in the hot housing market.
The pair admit they have mixed emotions about moving on. They just hope the new owners will love the three-bedroom home as much as they have.
“We like change, we like fluidity, we’re ready to move onto the next project,” said MacIntyre. “We’re chronic renovators and we are continually focusing on finding and re-building spaces that have potential. Once we’ve taken a space as far as we can, we are ready for the next renovation adventure.”