The Bridget
Interior Building

380 Montgomery Street, Jersey City, NJ
3 stories
44 units
2018 open

Once a bustling hub in a thriving Irish-Catholic neighborhood, by 2015 the historic St Bridget’s Church in Jersey City found its pews nearly empty due to the area’s shifting demographics. The change, however, brought a new opportunity: BEAM Architects was entrusted to give this silent church a fresh start as a multi-family residential building.

The soaring 50-foot-high volume of this church, transformed into a habitable space by dividing the interior horizontally, set the stage for layers of unique residential units. Each apartment, now alive with modern comfort, tells its own story by preserving the unique features of its location within the church.

We consciously adopted a monochromatic palette intertwined with satin brass to harmonize the old and new. The simple and elegant kitchen designs don’t compete but accentuate the unique features of each unit. The bathrooms adopt a lighter design approach, using wood-look porcelain tiles for warmth, Gothic-inspired elements for a nod to history, and matte black hardware to tie it all together.

Incorporating the original architectural elements presented a unique set of challenges, particularly regarding lighting. Lack of consistency across apartments required a custom lighting layout for each unit. Wall-mounted fixtures were chosen to prevent any damage to the original vaulted ceilings, demanding careful coordination with the contractor and electrician. Meanwhile, the moody atmosphere was retained in the corridors through long spans of indirect lighting.

The lounge, once an irregular space with oversized columns and plumbing, became an opportunity for creative design. Using the irregularities, BEAM Architects created Gothic-arch-shaped nooks, while columns were brought together to house a fireplace that visually divides the space. Just as in the rest of this project, the lounge is a testament to the architectural balance between preserving history and embracing modern functionality.



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