Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Places

Buildings

St. John Brebeuf School

Address:605 Renfrew Street
Use:Educational
Original Use:Educational
Constructed:1955-1957
Architects:Mel Michener
Firms:Libling Michener
Contractors:Bockstael Construction Limited

More Information

St. John Brebeuf School is a co-ed elementary school that shares facilities for industrial arts with J. B. Mitchell School across the street.

The building was later grew with the addition of St. John Brebeuf Roman Catholic Church‎ also by Libling Michener.

Recognition and Awards

  • Honourable Mention, Massey Awards 1957

Design Characteristics

Suburb:J.B. Mitchell, River Heights
  • Starting with an empty site, an auditorium was built in 1955 and used as the first church in a new Jesuit parish named for one of the Canadian Jesuit martyrs, St. Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649)
  • To this was added the school in 1957 and eventually, a striking new church in 1965; the auditorium reverted to a gym
  • With a master site plan fully worked out beforehand, school and gym run in a line down the east side of the property with the church filling in the west side and a playground occupying the open space
  • Unaltered in the basics from its opening in 1957, the school is a straight-forward modenr design of wall-and-window in balance; the grey brick of the school matches that of the church; the windows stack vertically floor-to-ceiling in two strips per classroom; the trim of the exposed steel frame is painted a bright blue
  • Because of its role as a church for over a decade, a patterning of crosses extrude from the brickwork of the auditorium wing, alleviating the stark brick face and softening the two public sides nicely