18 Weird and Wonderful Places To Live: Churches, Bunkers, Water Towers and Caves

cave house new york times photo

Lars Tunbjork for The New York Times

The New York Times Magazine did a photo spread of some rather extreme conversions of churches, shipping containers and water towers and even caves, like the happy family shown above with an umbrella over the pool table to control the sand. We do our own roundup of TreeHugger favourites:


Chapel Converted to Residence by ZECC Architects

church conversion zecc photo

ZECC Architects, beloved of their conversion of a water tower into a residence, are at it again with this conversion of a Dutch chapel into a single family residence. In some ways it is a bit sad, when formerly public spaces get converted to private residences, but not every church can be converted into a bookstore or other public use, and this chapel is a bit less dramatic than the church that became the bookshop.

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Record Houses: A Modest Little Reno

church convertion tower into apartment

Christopher Wren's Christ Church was bombed out in WW2 and is now a roofless rose garden; its tower survived and got into private hands. Architect Nicholas Boyarsky has designed an apartment in it: eleven stories high. Owner Kate Renwick must have great legs, going up and down those stairs all day.

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Church House, Kyloe, England in New York Times


One we missed: "Ian Bottomley and his partner, Sally Onions, take in the sun in the graveyard of their home, a converted 1792 church."

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Church Converted into Bookshop

church converted into bookshop photo

Our favourite religious conversion is this one in Maastricht; Where we live, churches that are no longer needed for religious purposes are turned into condos and pass out of the public realm. How much more appropriate that they turn into such a magnificent shrine to the book.

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