Lansing United Church

What guided the design of this redevelopment project were the church’s aspirations to continue the legacy of their faith community which was established in 1925, to meet the evolving demographics of the community and to provide a sustainable future for the church.

The existing facility consisted of the original church built in 1951 and a mid 1960’s addition. The original church, while of architectural and historic interest suffered from deferred maintenance and the addition was essentially in a state of disrepair. A scheme was developed to rehabilitate the original building and transform the sanctuary and basement into fellowship halls. The most feasible solution for the addition was to replace it with a two storey modern facility to house a new sanctuary, licensed childcare centre, food bank, commercial kitchen, meeting/classrooms, and administrative spaces. Including an underground parking lot in the addition freed up outdoor space for a welcoming parkette by the entrance and play yards directly accessible from the daycare rooms.

Cues from the site informed the arrangement of spaces and the building’s architectural elements. The property is situated on a corner of a busy intersection and next to a community park. The main entrance leads up to a large mezzanine foyer that facilitates informal gathering and fellowship. A foldable partition separates the foyer from the sanctuary so that the foyer can accommodate overflow from the sanctuary. Surrounded by curtain wall glass, the foyer is visible from the two intersecting streets. Large floor-to-ceiling pictorial stained glass windows relocated from the former sanctuary stand in front of the curtain wall and mediates the view between the people inside and outside. Primarily south facing, this space is often bathed in colourful light. The north side of the addition faces the park. Meeting/classrooms are located along this side on the upper level. Large windows in these rooms frame views of the park and overlook the daycare playgrounds below.

The intention behind the design of the building also was to provide flexibility and openness in its use to not only support the church’s operations but to strengthen its relevance and resilience. 5 different congregations and all their programmes are now housed here. A constant stream of community programmes and services run daily. Indeed, this project successfully makes room for everyone.

Year 2018
Size 47,000 sf
Location Toronto

This project was completed under the Certificate of Practice issued to our predecessor firm J. David McAuley Architect Inc.