A Modern and Unique Church

A Modern and Unique Church

As mentioned earlier, St. Francis of Assisi Church was a very modern design for the time. Miller Associates was the company chosen to draw up the design, with Mr. George Guimond as the architect. The church itself was constructed by Kenneth B. Coles Construction. The designs included not only a unique church structure but a parish centre in the basement which included a kitchen, large assembly room, several smaller rooms, and washrooms. The plan also called for a residence building and a structure to connect the church to the residence.13

Knowing that the church was a community, a family, Mr. Guimond designed the church with that in mind and created a unique open concept that reflected the open-ness of the parishioners. Although the pyramid-shaped design was quite unorthodox, it was well received among the parishioners at the time. The solar heating design was a relatively new one at the time, and one of the first in North America. The construction of this new church received a lot of media attention. One of the four sloping sides of the roof is made up almost entirely of glass, or solar panels that absorb energy from the sun’s heat which is stored in rocks which are enclosed in a large cylinder located in the basement of the church.14 It seems ironically suiting that St. Francis of Assisi was chosen as patron saint of this particular church structure as St. Francis is known as the Patron Saint of Ecology.

Construction      Sky Light

Left: St. Francis under concstruction, photo courtesy of Ginny Grant.  Right: Sky Lights from the Interior

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