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Christian Science Reading Space By Nils Finne


FINNE Architects have not too long ago completed the renovation of a 1905 bungalow into a new Reading Area for the Christian Science Church in Issaquah, Washington.

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From the architects

A Conversation between Past and Present

A 1905 bungalow located in Issaquah, about 25 miles east of Seattle, has been entirely renovated in order to create a new Reading Space for the Christian Science Church. Anchored by a new reflecting pool on the corner of the internet site, the new Reading Room brings a frankly contemporary expression to the older developing, making an intriguing dialogue amongst previous and present.

All current interior room partitions and ceiling beams were removed in order to carve out a huge, open Reading Room, filled with natural light from new Douglas fir windows and generous ceiling light monitors. New exposed roof framing is Douglas fir. The current fireplace has been rebuilt and faced in Montana ledgestone.

The new Reading Space is a serene space for study and contemplation. The walls are mostly glass, with the whole north wall composed of satin etch glass with “floating” Sapele shelving placed in front of the glass. The finish wall of the room attributes a stone screen wall, with 8-ft higher pieces of sawn basalt forming a delicate pattern of light and shadow. There is a modest glass-walled “quiet room” on the other side of the basalt screen wall.

Custom furnishings developed by Nils Finne bring a welcome touch of craft to the room. The Sapele reading desks are each and every supported by a series of cast-bronze legs, with an intricate bas-relief pattern on the leg surface. The bronze patterning continues onto the table surface itself, forming a stunning flush juxtaposition of bronze and Sapele wood.

Other custom-designed pieces consist of a grass-patterned wool rug (woven in Nepal) and numerous naturally-shaped, layered glass coffee tables with intricately patterned waterjetcut steel bases. Sustainable style principles were incorporated from the begin of the project. Renovations are inherently sustainable, considering that an existing structure is recycled and provided new life and goal rather than becoming torn down. The demolition incorporated a higher percentage of recycling, and the new construction incorporated 30-40% greater insulation values than code requirements (2×8 exterior walls) extensive new windows utilized for illumination and organic venting higher efficiency heat pump mechanical technique low-VOC paints and stains and organic materials (low carbon footprint) such as wood and stone on the exterior. Also critical for sustainability is the attention to detailing and craftsmanship, resulting in construction that is very tough, and materials are protected for a lengthy life-cycle. Sustainable style is not merely making a laundry-list of green components rather, it is creating enduring creating kind and building with appropriate extended life-cycle, low-energy consuming components.

Architect: Nils Finne, FINNE Architects
Photography: Benjamin Benschneider


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