File to: Things I didn’t think I’d do when I woke up this morning... or ever.

One of the projects I’m working on right now (I’m actually the Project Architect on) is a Catholic church. It’s a neat little project, but it’s by far client facing role I’ve ever had.

Anyway, our client has a harder time than most visualizing the scale of the building and what the finishes we’ve proposed will look like. They only really understand churches and chapels that they’ve actually visited, so we often have to go on field trips to see buildings they like.

This morning we (Project Manager, Interior Architect, and I) met the client (a priest) at a small chapel across town to discuss some of the elements they liked. We talked about the wooden clouds I’ve planned for the ceiling and, as usual, he didn’t fully grasp the concept. He suggested we drive to a church down the road that had a wood ceiling so we could look at one in person.

Okay sure

We arrive at said church, and I notice there’s a hearse parked at the entry. Hmm... guess we’re gonna have to come back to look some other time.

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NOPE

Priest says, “well we can’t see the church (sanctuary) but we can still look at the gathering space (lobby)”

I’m thinking that this is pretty weird, but hell, I’m with a priest. So we walk by the hearse and into the front doors of the church. Immediately, I realize that the doors at the other end of the lobby into the church are open and there’s a full funeral mass going on. There are 4 porters standing in the lobby who are very confused as to why a priest and 3 random people just wandered in.

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The priest starts pointing out things he likes while the 3 of us are trying to comprehend the situation we’re in. He then walks to the other end of the lobby and peeks his head into the door way from the side and starts gesturing at things in the church, WHERE THERE’S A FUNERAL GOING ON.

Dramatic re-enactment

At this point I’m just trying not to burst out laughing at the absurdity of what’s going on, because I’m my mind my life has turned into a full on sitcom. None of us know how to react, the porters are even more confused, and the priest is completely unfazed. Eventually we manage to coax him back outside the building by saying we saw what he wanted us to see, and went on our way.

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Here’s a rendering of the church I’m designing:

So... yeah, I crashed a funeral with a priest, totally normal Friday.