How a South End Baptist Church Became a Cozy Condo

Once a church, now a condo, this soaring South End space gets a soulful makeover.

south end church makeover

Design by Ruhl Studio Architects. Interior design by William and Camille Design. build by Kistler & Knapp Builders. Steelwork by Mott Iron Works / Photo by Nat Rea

The Problem

When a retired couple moved from a suburban home in Weston to the top floor of a newly converted Baptist church in the South End, they needed help turning the octagonal dome—complete with 20-foot-high sloped ceilings—into a comfortable living space.

The Solution

Architect William Ruhl and the owners first discussed bringing the ceilings down to make the space feel more intimate, but ultimately, Ruhl wasn’t onboard: “Why buy the cupola of a church and have a 10-foot ceiling?” Instead, in what Ruhl calls an “aha moment,” the team decided to suspend a curvilinear, wood-and-laser-cut-metal ceiling over the TV and dining areas. Created by interior designer William Lewis, the custom frame features leaf-like shapes that allow sunlight to filter through, in addition to built-in light fixtures. “In the end, it really makes it feel more comfortable, and we’re all happy,” Ruhl says with a laugh.