St James, Glen Iris, 1959

#StJamesGlenIris, #BogleBanfield, 1959, Melbourne’s most minimalist modernist church, and therefore the one that architects like the most. Originally it had #concrete screens with cross cutouts, making it (somewhat) more obviously a church, but they were removed c2005, leaving a brick box with inset black windows. (The nearby #Korowa girls school has a section of the same blocks from 1964, also by BB).

It’s still very elegant behind all the plants, with very deep expressed steel columns/beams like flying buttresses (a bit). Apparently the congregation originally wanted something gothic, but they couldn’t afford it – so they went for starkly modern instead ! #BernardJoyce was employed by BB 1958-1962, and he is widely considered to have been the major designer at BB; but the church design was accepted in 1957, so maybe not his at all.

Peter Wille, State Library Victoria

National Library

#StJamesGlenIris, #BogleBanfield, 1959, interior; strictly #symmetrical, with this delightful semi-circular screen around where the font was originally; there’s a chapel off to one side, divided by vertical sticks, with a window of translucent glass behind. Very high ceiling, which slopes down over the sanctuary creating a forced perspective. There is a full-height #stainedglass window along the nave on the east side only, which was originally vertical ribbed #translucentglass, like some of the other windows (including the one I’m looking through, must’ve been replaced by plain glass. The #altar is rather dim, and would have been even dimmer with the now gone concrete block walls that were on outside of all the windows – I guess like many earlier churches, and unlike modern ones, they didn’t mind it being a bit gloomy. It all looks very original, except the pews in the chapel, and the loss of some of the pendant lights. And the window glass.

National Library
National Library

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