When architect James Hundt started his solo practice in 1993, his plan was to design homes as any other architect would do. But he ended up doing something else – a specialist is designing churches! Hundt, a practicing Roman Catholic, perhaps never expected his faith will dictate his profession too. A regular church goer, Hundt observed that his professional colleagues who were assigned the job of designing church were not doing any great job and decided to take a plunge and do it for himself. Till date, 62 year old Hundt has been involved in more than 100 church design projects. Of all the churches designed by him which was the most special one? Do you know?
For an architect all his projects are like his children and he will never distinguish between them as best or worst. The same goes with Hundt too. However, one project may be considered as special not only because it was recent one but also it was delicately balanced on three legs of the project, that is, cost, quality and time.
For an architect, whatever constraint he may face in terms of cost and time he cannot compromise on quality because it reflects on his reputation. And that’s exactly what Hundt faced while working on Milford United Methodist Church project. The project was to replace the 88 year old church which was lost to fire. And time available was hardly one year which was later on extended by six months.
Hundt and his team designed a warm, welcoming, fully accessible, energy efficient and easily maintained facility with a sanctuary, classrooms, meeting rooms, an office and fellowship hall. The exterior design should provide good visibility of the church and tie the existing building and the addition together seamlessly. The preference was for a commanding, non-traditional style consistent with the upstate New York rural feel that includes natural elements to attract newcomers while being comfortable and welcoming to all.