St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
Victoria, Australia

Law Architects
Victoria, Australia

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was designed and built in 1964. The existing church is listed on the register of heritage buildings of the state of Victoria. This renovation project leaves the core of the original design untouched while reflecting the congregation’s contemporary identity. Removing the narthex walls expands the sanctuary and provides a visual connection to the cross, altar, and font from the entrance. The sanctuary has enough space for gathering during communion. Replacing carpet in the nave with a stone floor enhances a sense of sacrality, highlighting the spatial relationship between the church’s elements. Demolition of the false ceiling above the sanctuary accentuates the verticality expressed by the reredos and the acoustic timber-panel wall. Natural and semiprecious materials create a space to elevate the spirit and reconnect with the sublime.

Jury Comments
The architects involved in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church project exercised great restraint in maintaining the essence of this church’s original design while updating and expanding the space to accommodate current liturgical needs. The work has been done with great sensitivity and makes a beautiful historic church ready to serve the 21st century.