Before and After: St. Matthew's in Shullsburg, Wisconsin

Conrad Schmitt Studios recently announced a new project they will be undertaking at St. Matthews Church in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. Now this is a bit of a different "before and after" because it has not actually been completed yet, however, many companies today are able to make use of modern day, digital technologies to better show their prospective clients the possibilities for the church renovation/restoration plans, and this is one such example. 

The design is another case study in the power of visual language, which is to say "the grammar of ornament."   The parish benefits from the fact that its historic reredos was, mercifully, never removed, thus maintaining the dominant architectural integrity of the space. With the exception of the carpeting and the ceiling fans, most people would enter this church and see it as quite beautiful and ornamental (and this despite being rectangular in its shape):


However, see what happens once ornament is added on the walls and on the ceiling and one will realize just how incomplete the 'before' suddenly feels by comparison:


It is yet again the same story of how ornament not only better completes the interior of a church, it also has a way better framing the altar and sanctuary while also uniting the entire church into a greater, more harmonious whole.

Incidentally, here is what the church's sanctuary historically looked like prior to the 1970's, and on which Conrad Schmitt based their own designs. In this regard, this project is both an improvement upon the existing space and it is also restorative. 

For more information, please visit Conrad Schmitt's website or visit them on social media

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