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Koopmeiners Residence, Denver, Colo.

When Robert and Bridget Koopmeiners were looking for a new home a few years ago, they wanted one that would be unique, preferably a warehouse or a church that they could remold to their own liking. They found a unique opportunity in St. Pius X, a former Roman Catholic Church and adjacent school building in the Berkeley section of Denver. The Koopmeiners decided to rescue the church and schoolhouse from condemnation. Nearly $800,000 later, they have converted the two structures into a single-family home that celebrates the gothic roots of the one-time church.

The 107-year-old gothic style brick church had belonged to at least two other Christian denominations before it became a Catholic parish that had been abandoned for several years. Instead of purchasing the property, razing the existing buildings and building a condo building, the Koopmeiners hired architect Steve Barsch to help them design a 4,200-square-foot (390-m2) residence with four bedrooms, five baths, a dining room, office and den.

A towering entrance way and a kitchen with dormers above it were built to join the wood-frame schoolhouse and the gothic brick church together. Working as their own general contractor, the couple and Barsch collaborated on a structure that would feature a large living room with a vaulted 20-foot (6- m) ceiling and a master bedroom, both in the former chapel of the church.

The project features 6,000 square feet (557 m2) of Englert’s Series 2000 Galvalume Plus standing-seam metal roof. Metal for the three dormers were hand cut by the installer, Southwestern Metal Systems.

“We were trying for a modern look to the entire structure yet wanted to maintain the gothic integrity of the original church at the same time,” Barsch noted. “The Galvalume roof gave the structure a weathered, aged look but also the crispness that only standing seam can bring to a project. And the standing seam also brought a good deal of verticality to the residence which we were trying to achieve.”

The residence was honored with one of the Denver Mayor’s Annual Design Awards that celebrate design in all forms throughout the city. The residence won in the category of Reclaimed Splendor.

Owner: Robert and Bridget Koopmeiners
Architect: Steve Barsch, Denver
Installer: Southwestern Metal Systems, Commerce City, Colo.
Metal roof panels: Englert Inc., Perth Amboy, N.J.,