Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Bassetti and Morse, Architects (firm); Ivarsson, Sigmund, Structural Engineer (firm); Stern and Towne, Mechanical Engineers (firm); Travis, Beverly A., and Associates, Electrical Engineer (firm); Frederick Forde Bassetti (architect); Sigmund Ivarsson (structural engineer); Jean Johanson (sculptor); John Moore Morse (architect); Richard M. Stern (architect); Robin M. Towne (mechanical engineer); Beverly A. Travis (electrical engineer)

Dates: constructed 1956

12700 SE 32nd Street
Bellevue, WA 98005-4317

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Bassetti and Morse produced this design for a ground-hugging church sheltered by a diamond-shaped gable roof. The architects exposed the glue-laminated beam work in the sanctuary, highlighting its structural properties. The post-and-beam structural system was lit by a single, dramatic glazed wall behind the main lectern. Others included in the original building team included: S. Ivarsson, Structural Engineer, Sterne and Towne, Mechanical Engineer, B.A. Travis, Electrical Engineer, and Jean Johanson, a sculptor. Johanson produced a number of polished pebble mosaics located around the facility.

The Architectural Record included the East Shore Unitarian Church in a 12/1957 review of church architecture in the Pacific Northwest. It noted in this article: "Under the unifying canopy of an elemental roof form Architects Bassetti & Morse have created a space of simple dignity and strong character. On a high site among tall firs this building is peculiarly responsive to its worship purposes, its environment and its budget: $60,000. The ridge roof, framed as a diamond in plan, lifts high and extends far over the entrance at the west and the low-transmission glass wall at the east. Glue-laminated beams and girders are carried on wood or steel posts. The built-up roof is topped with white marble chips. Tilt-up concrete wall panels are used on the west front and carry polished pebble mosaic decorations. Ceiling boards are stained a warm gray and the assembly room side walls, presently a grayed pink, will eventually be covered with fabric in abstract design. Floor is concrete slab on grade. Assembly room will accommodate 300." (See "Churches: East Shore Unitarian Church, Bellevue, Wash." Architectural Record, 122:6, 12/1957, p. 186-188.)

PCAD id: 6419