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 Unitarian–that 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.
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.
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.
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.