Two churches on Vancouver's 41st Avenue have found ways to deal with declining congregations and old buildings in need of costly repairs. Located within just a few blocks of each other, Oakridge Lutheran Church and Oakridge United Church will be reborn as parts of mixed-use projects.

The Parker, image via ZGF Cotter Architects

The Parker, located at the intersection of Elizabeth Street and 41st Avenue, a development by Townline, will become the new home of Oakridge United Church. The 6-storey contemporary building designed by ZGF Cotter Architects is topped out. There will be 49 strata units consisting of 19 one-, 21 two-, and 9 three-bedrooms.  There will be 67 car and 73 bicycle parking spaces over two levels of underground parking. The location is within an easy walk of Queen Elizabeth Park, Oakridge 41st Avenue Skytrain station, and the Oakridge Centre, which is currently scheduled for a massive redevelopment.

The Parker, image by Alissa Reed

The church will be located on the first floor along 41st Avenue. The sanctuary will occupy the south-east corner, and the new facilities will include offices, a conference room, two fellowship halls, a cafe, and a kitchen. The facade will consist of glazed curtain wall infused with coloured glass. Several elements from the now-demolished church, including the large stained glass window, lamps, plaques, doors and wood paneling will be incorporated in the building.

Hannelore, image via Francl Architecture

Just west of Cambie at the intersection of 41st Avenue and Ash Street, the Oakridge Lutheran Church, will find its new home as part of the Catalyst Community Developments Society's Hannelore. The six-storey building is designed by Francl Architecture is also topped out. The building will consist of retail spaces at ground level and housing on third through sixth floors. There will be 15 studio, 15 one-, and 16 two-bedroom units. Of the 46 units, at least 15 (33% of the total) will be rented at or below rents affordable to households which fall under the BC Housing Income Limits (HILs) levels. There will also be 73 car and 80 bicycle parking spaces over two levels of underground parking.

Hannelore, image by Alissa Reed

The church will occupy the entire second floor, and the facilities will include a sanctuary, multi-purpose rooms, offices, a boardroom, a kitchen, a rooftop deck. A striking design feature of this project is a multi-coloured glass wall wrapping around the building, a modern take on the traditional stained glass window.

Stained Glass Windows at Hannelore, image by Alissa Reed

Additional information along with renderings of the tower can be found in our database file for these projects, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.