Canadian Consulting Engineer | May 30, 2023
Michael MacLean, BSc, PEng., LEED® AP O+M, CCCA | Associate

RJC Engineers and Ryder Architecture have won Vancouver’s Heritage Award, in recognition of their recent conservation of the city’s 1930s-era St. Andrews-Wesley United Church.

The companies consulted with Donald Luxton & Associates to renew the landmark building, which was originally built with locally sourced granite and stone and features a soaring vaulted timber roof and French and Italian stained-glass windows. Over the years, its concrete structure and interior plaster deteriorated, a linoleum tile floor needed replacing and the roof required extensive repairs.

RJC integrated numerous upgrades to improve building envelope performance, seismic resiliency and accessibility.  Terracotta elements were repaired, while a new copper roof, gutters and downpipes were added for greater durability.

Fibreglass moulds were made of existing plaster elements, so they could be recast and installed to replicate the original form and joint lines. The plaster was then meticulously painted to match the original finishes and texture.

The windows required only minor repairs, the interior woodwork was rejuvenated with multiple coats of oil, plaster coffers in the sanctuary were cleaned and the painted wood ceiling was rehydrated to restore its stencilled colours. Other interventions included ramps and audio-visual (A/V) systems.

“The entire team understood the importance of maintaining the building’s historic character while providing a revitalized structure that meets the church’s vision for a modern-day gathering place,” says Michael MacLean, project lead and associate at RJC.

The project took two years to complete and went on to win an Award of Excellence in the 2022 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.

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