Architecture  |  Planning  |  Interiors

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The original church, built in 1953, served Los Alamos when it was still a cold war era "closed city." A growing congregation called for additions in 1957 and 1968, each serving the immediate needs but creating disconnected areas that made accessibility difficult.


After more than 30 years, the church was in great need for repairs and code updates, as well as more meeting space for its members. Renovations and additions included new thermally efficient windows, roof, electrical, plumbing and code updates and a new 4,000 SF Gathering Space that additionally serves as a library, a new main entry and the unifying space to connect all other areas of the building. A new centralized elevator and stairs provide accessible connections to all areas from the new gathering space.


One of the original icons of the 1968 Sanctuary at the front door were large stained glass panels, which consisted of colored slab glass chunks set into a heavy cementitious matrix system, held by wood frame disintegrating over time. The original stained glass assembly was completely dismantled and reinserted, piece-by-piece, into a new acrylic matrix panel system with the help of a local artist and then installed into a new structural system. The panels were filled in to create a more dense glass display, mimic the intent of the original and unite old and new.

Owner:  Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church

Location: Los Alamos, NM

Size: 4,000 SF New Construction,  4,000 SF Renovation

Photos by Dave Williams