Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Kirk, Wallace, McKinley AIA and Associates (firm); Skilling, Helle, Christiansen, and Robertson, Incorporated, Engineers (firm); John Valdemar Christiansen (structural engineer); Paul Hayden Kirk (architect); David A. McKinley Jr. (architect); Donald Sheridan Wallace (architect)

Dates: constructed 1964

1 story

Bellevue, WA

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Paul Hayden Kirk (1914-1995) created a number of innovative church designs, such as the First Unitarian Church on 35th Avenue NE in Seattle, WA; the Church of the Good Shepherd with its striking, cantilevered profile, remains one of the most dramatic modern designs executed in the Pacific Northwest. Jack Christiansen (b. 1927), the noted expert in thin-shelled concrete structures, did the structural engineering work on the building. As devised by Christiansen, the transparent church rested on a cantilevered thin shell base that projected dramatically over a steeply sloping grade.

This church was sold to a private party and made into a residence in 1979. In 2009, it continued to function as a private home, although the curtain wall has been radically altered. According to engineer and architect Rainer Metzger, "The Church of the Good Shepherd was deconsecrated, sold and remodeled in 1979 into a private residence. Paul Kirk's original building enclosure was radically altered. Christiansen's thin shell concrete pedestal and wood framed shell roof remain. The 2001 Nisqually Earthquake produced large deflections at the cantilevered end but caused no structural damage." (See Rainer Metzger, "Jack Christiansen Thin Shell Concrete in the Pacific Northwest," Column 5, vol. XX, p.11.)

PCAD id: 10281