St Mary's Church

The interior explains the unfamiliar shape; the entrance wall spirals inward past a circular baptistery to shield a broad, shadowed sanctuary under the downward billowing concrete vault. Two concrete cylinders descend from the vault to shed natural light on the altar and tabernacle areas.

St Mary
Designed by Douglas Cardinal in 1968, St Mary's Church reflects the rolling hills of the surrounding prairie landscape (courtesy Douglas J. Cardinal Architect Ltd.).

St Mary's Church

 St Mary's Church, RED DEER, Alta (designed by Douglas CARDINAL, completed in 1968), the first building to bring Cardinal wide attention, established themes that have continued through his subsequent work. On a bare suburban site, the church creates a dominating presence by its size, flowing forms and the height of the upward sweeping walls.

The interior explains the unfamiliar shape; the entrance wall spirals inward past a circular baptistery to shield a broad, shadowed sanctuary under the downward billowing concrete vault. Two concrete cylinders descend from the vault to shed natural light on the altar and tabernacle areas. The church is a demanding building, the forms unexpected but evocative of things ancient and deep-rooted, both incongruous and appropriate.