Joseph
Saint Joseph's Pastoral Centre
Cabot Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia

The St. Joseph's Project is a unique design, with a characteristic blend of modern, liturgical planning and traditional, iconographic forms. The Pastoral Centre was designed with the mission statement that the structure should reflect a multitude of community goals. The structure itself should be recognized primarily as a place of worship, but must reflect a variety of shared purposes in its image and functionality. The Church was designed, not only as a place of worship, but to reflect and reiterate a community mission statement of service, education, and recreation.

The design of St. Joseph's Church attempts to reconcile the modern need for a community seating arrangement "around the altar," with the desire for a traditional and familiar "church-like" architecture.

By utilizing modern planning methods that reflect a traditional framework, Trifos Design Consultants was able to create a welcoming and familiar atmosphere that not only embodies the spirit of the community, but also incorporates the functional goals of the Church community at large.


The design features a white clapboard exterior; steeply-pitched, shingled, roof lines; and a campanile bell tower. The interior, main worship space incorporates a U-shaped seating arrangement, organized on three sides of the altar table. The sanctuary possesses a steeply- pitched ceiling, and culminates in a prominent altar, backdropped by a silhouette screen; all framed in natural light from the glazed, gable window at the rear of the altar space.

The design incorporates a single-storey gathering place or Nave, a skylit Narthex/Atrium area, a sacrament chapel, a reconciliation chapel, a vesting sacristy, administrative offices, and meeting rooms. The bell tower anchors the design, while creating a pivotal focal point for the main entrance. The design was also created with a view to accommodating a potential future expansion pavilion for a social meeting hall.

As with any project, budgetary concerns were notable. In order to proceed within financial restrictions, a number of budgeting methods were utilized. Site selection and building placement minimized landfilling and geotechnical work, while maintaining visual site prominence. Employment of conventional framing techniques and standard building materials helped to maintain construction costs at a minimum, without sacrificing quality.

Photo Ren-cover Prelim Design cropped