Thursday, December 22, 2011

Binning Residence Funding

The Government of Canada recently announced some much needed financial support for the Binning residence.

Parks Canada, through the National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program will contribute $11,000 for the preparation of a site conservation plan. That amount will match a contribution by the Land Conservancy of British Columbia, who took over the site after Jessie Binning's death in 2007.

It's a drop in the bucket, but it's a start that acknowledges the Binning residence's national historic importance.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Canadian Architect Awards

The 2011 Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence winners have been announced.

Amongst the winners are West Coast firms Patkau, Hughes Condon Marler and B+H Bunting Coady.

The awards were juried by Walter Francl, Diarmuid Nash and Peter Sampson.

Image: UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences/CDRD by Saucier + Perrotte Architectes w/ Hughes Condon Marler Architects

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Architecture of Religion: Redeemer Lutheran Church

The Redeemer Lutheran Church sits on a busy strip of Granville Street, nestled into its mature Shaughnessy environs.

It was designed in 1959 by Thompson Berwick & Pratt and shortlisted for the 1961 round of Massey Medals.

It's part of a group of buildings in Vancouver–St. John's, Shaugnessy Heights United, Granville Chapel and Unitarianthat reflected a renewed mid-century interest in religious architecture.

They highlight a shared concern between modernist architects and religious orders in harnessing light, though with admittedly different connotations.

Exterior from Granville Street

Front entrance

There is an optimism and clarity to these buildings that sets them apart from more traditional religious architecture. The Redeemer Lutheran in particular is a straightforward, cost-conscious design that draws on prevailing architectural trends of the 1950's.

Side entrance

A classic A-frame form, supported by concrete buttresses, splays out on the sides with flat-roofed areas for offices, entrances and meeting rooms. A secondary building is connected by a covered breezeway.

Central skylight

Main chapel

A central skylight running the length of the spine of the chapel admits a diffused light down onto pews and the altar.

Decoration is kept to a minimum and windows at the sides of the chapel are unadorned. Wood is used generously on the interior and contributes to a natural and muted color palette.

The church remains largely as designed and continues to serve its congregation after fifty years.