Gregory Blasi, RA
This new facility in Saddle River, NJ sits on the site of an existing farmhouse colonial residence used as a rectory. The existing residence was razed, and the existing sloped property was taken advantage of to provide an exposed walk-in lower level. Open walkways and stairs provide access and natural light throughout the lower level. This floor provided rectory offices, records storage, and flex space for meetings or parish use. An internal stair allows access to the first floor for additional parish space of meeting room and dining. The living room has wonderful south-facing views and an accompanying balcony that provides cover for the frameless glass entry below. A hidden panel door provides privacy from the residential side of the rectory from the public space. This allows priests access to garages, mudroom, open kitchen, and family room while allowing the parishioners use of dining, powder room, and living room. The second floor consists of two suites, a guest bedroom suite, laundry, hall bath, and a small television room at top of the rear stairs. The plan allows a balance of private and public space in the interior and exterior spaces.
The exterior has been influenced by McKim, Mead, and Whites Newport Country Club. This is seen in the use of a stone base, shingled second floor, crenelated dormers, and a formal columned entry block. The project boasts beautiful landscaping, a meandering path to the front entry with curved bluestone stairs to the lower office. The plaza located at parking allows for outdoor events for the parish with access to lower-level facilities. The rear yard is accessed by the public from the plaza by a masonry stair and walkway to raised terrace off adjacent to the dining room. A second private terrace has been built at the bottom of the secondary stairs at the rear entry. This terrace is also used for grill access. The rear stair and television room above are filled with windows for natural light. Fish scale cedar siding is used in the rear stair entry location on the front and rear elevations. The front elevation has been accentuated with a curved wood beam below second floor sided area. Details such as stone headers, intricate railings, copper clad circular oculus dormer can be found throughout the project.