Christ Church Tower Gets a Residential MakeoverBy Berit Griffin, Marvin Windows
People depicted as living in towers usually aren’t there for very happy reasons. From Rapunzel, imprisoned in her tower by a witch, to Anne Boleyn, imprisoned in the Tower of London by Henry VIII, towers are often seen as places of incarceration and gloom.
Not so, however, with the renovation of the Christ Church Tower in London by Boyarsky Murphy Architects. The beautiful tower, designed by Christopher Wren after London’s Great Fire in 1666, was in bad condition when a financier decided to buy it. Boyarsky Murphy took on the challenging project and designed a beautiful, unusual and livable residence.
There were some limitations, however. Architectural Record featured the Christ Church Tower in their April 2007 issue and noted that Boyarsky Murphy was not allowed to remove a spiral staircase original to the home, nor were they allowed to add new windows. Thus, careful planning and innovative strategies were the name of the game.
Every level (and there are quite a few!) includes one roughly living space. There is a small elevator to move people around quickly. From bottom to top, Boyarsky Murphy designed rooms to accommodate every need: foyer/dining, kitchen, living room, laundry room, bedroom, study, master bath, master bath, library, mezzanine and at the top, a viewing terrace that looks over the City of London.
The interior of the tower is clean and modern—an interesting juxtaposition with the tower’s historical exterior. White walls, metal railings, blonde wood and a curvy glass staircase help the tower feel light and airy. There’s also some urban grit in the form of some graffiti from previous reconstructions.
Boyarsky Murphy’s creative work and elegant solutions transformed a forlorn tower into a historical modern home. Far from being confining, the Christ Church Tower is lovely, light-filled and livable.
Photos courtesy of Boyarsky Murphy Architects. More photos here.