St. Chrysostom’s Day School Gothic Garden

Architecture Is Fun transformed a confined back of house space into a showplace bringing in new parishioners and day school parents.
~ Mark Fisher, Church Warden

Gothic Garden:  A Cathedral of Trees

A cathedral of trees rescues a dreary, urban back alley; converting into an uplifting 450 square foot Gothic Children’s Garden into a place of delight, inspiration, creativity, and sanctuary designed for children at play and prayer in the out-of-doors. Soaring arches, reaching up to embrace the sky, articulate a purposeful space that feels larger than its physical boundaries.

The alley is adorned with art-making, the fire stair becomes a performance hall, and lofty vaults create canopies of artful wind chimes. This endearing architecture with its tracery, arches, vaults, peek-a-boo quatrefoil cutouts, and modular grid establishes its functional importance as a landscape for reflection, seeing, storytelling, gardening, and exploration, while building upon the historic church’s gothic sensibilities and emotive beauty.

Architecture Is Fun completed the project on time, on budget, and lived up to their name – we had a lot of fun in the process.
~ Mary Ellen Christy, Headmistress

Read more about St. Chrysostom’s Gothic Garden in this Landscape Architecture online article.

Mies van de Rohe Award
, American Institute of Architects Illinois, 2009.
Recognition of significant achievement in design innovation: award given for bringing vibrancy and community vitality in to reclaim a formerly disused space and repurposing it.
Distinguished Building Award,
American Institute of Architects Chicago, 2009.
Recognition of significant achievement in design, planning, and execution; the Gothic Garden at St. Chrysostom’s conveys a strong message of the value and potential impact that can be found in the transformation of small spaces.

Owner:  St. Chrysostom’s Day School
:  Architecture Is Fun, Inc.
:  Chicago/Illinois
:  Completed 2009
Photography:  © Doug Snower Photography


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