Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church
Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A.
201 Main Street S.E. #325, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Date Bid: Aug 2005 Construction Period: Sep 2005 to Feb
Total Square Feet: 69,700 Site: 36.5 acres. Number of
Buildings: Two; Shell only.
Building Size: First floor, 67,500; second floor, 2,200; total,
69,700 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 67’; second floor, 15'; total, 67’.
Basic Construction Type: New/2B.
Foundation: Cast-in-place. Exterior Walls: Brick, metal,
Roof: Metal, membrane, asphalt shingles. Floors: Concrete.
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.
Structural Engineer: Reigstad & Associates, Inc. - 192 West 9th
Street, #200, St. Paul, MN 55113
General Contractor: Anderson Builders - 4220 Park Glen Road, St.
Louis Park, MN 55426
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Karges-Falconbridge - 670 West
County Road B, St. Paul, MN 55113
In the spring of 2004, Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A. (Cuningham
Group) was approached regarding a Phase II expansion to the existing
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church located in Plymouth, Minnesota.
Cuningham Group completed Phase I on this 36.5-acre site in late 1996.
Phase II was to be the culmination of a 20-year vision to build a
permanent worship space, a gathering commons, and additional learning
spaces to meet the continued growing needs of Beautiful Savior.
Cuningham Group began the process with a Space Needs Programming effort
that updated all areas of the Church, including the three primary areas:
education, fellowship, and worship. At the completion of the Programming
phase, the Church elected to go directly into design with Cuningham
The Beautiful Savior Building Committee directive was simple: “create a
landmark building within the community that is a beacon of hope for all
who pass by. The design team believed that a dynamic building form and
unique material for the sanctuary would be a strong statement to the
community about worship and faith. After much discussion concerning the
Scandinavian heritage of the worshipping community, northern climate,
budget challenges, and unique qualities of the congregation, designers
presented a metal skin and a red flat seam panel, to serve as a metaphor
of the ocean-going vessels that brought Scandinavian immigrants to
The floor plan is simple and direct. The progression from the front door
is axial in nature, beginning in the parking lot, moving through the
front door and the center of the Commons, through the Worship Center
entrance and the font area, down to the main alter and ultimately to the
Cross. The Commons is a place to meet and orient one to the facility.
The semi-circular-shaped, sloped Sanctuary floor is designed for
intimacy as well as a sense of community and togetherness. All guests in
the Sanctuary can see activities as the front chancel is elevated by
five steps, and a carved-out section on the right of the chancel allows
a variety of music groups to perform.
The Sanctuary structural system is primarily a steel frame,
incorporating large-scale trusses to allow for a column-free space. The
exterior skin is composed of Belden Brick (where it joins Phase I) and
two-color metal flat seam vertical paneling (denoting worship space).
The space is appointed with carpeting, paint, and has many interior
windows to allow visual access throughout the Church. The exterior
landscaping is straight forward and mainly consists of local plantings
for easy maintenance, appropriate scale and appearance for Minnesota.
At the grand opening the Building Committee, headed by the Pastor Thomas
Stoebig, stated that the church had achieved all its facility goals on a
functional and creative basis. They were ready to welcome the community
into their space – as a Beacon of Hope for all.
The Belden Brick Company