"The dialogue between client and architect is about as intimate as any conversation you can have, because when you’re talking about building a house, you’re talking about dreams."
- Robert A. M. Stern


Alvin Reinhard Fritz Architect Inc.

RR8 S28 C14
5801 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4P4

T: 403.320.8100
F: 403.327.3373



Historic Renovation

Southminster United Church,

Lethbridge, Alberta



The Southminster United Church is a historic building and the choice classical concert venue in the City.  This project required an elegant washroom renovation appropriate to the high-class events regularly performed there and an expansion to the Chancel platform area to accommodate larger music productions.

Together with Amy Dodic, Building Committee Chairperson, we decided to design the washroom with an airport entrance and wood partitions to match the oak so prevalent throughout the historic building.  As well, we determined that automatic lighting and music was entirely feasible and it was readily incorporated.  We also installed full-length mirrors in the women’s washroom for the formally dressed clients that enjoy gala affairs at this venue.

The project ultimately extended to the sanctuary as well where substantive changes were necessary to accommodate an expanded orchestra. The platform was extended and the rear wall of the sanctuary replaced. This wall, renovated in the 70’s, was out of character with the historic oak finishes. We replaced the previously applied plastic scrim on the wall with a dark oak, and carefully selected transparent acoustical fabric for the Chancel wall.

One highlight of the design allowed the client to conceal the organ in the platform floor when the organ would be undesirable on the platform.  This was engineered by Simon Hann, one of the Building Committee members.

The end result was an upgrade worthy of the historic structure of the Southminster United Church.  While it is a relatively small project, it demonstrates that Alvin Reinhard Fritz Architect Inc. pays careful attention to detail regardless of the size of the renovation or the relative utilitarian nature of the space.

The Norland Residence,

Lethbridge, Alberta

The most consuming restoration and Historic design project that Alvin Reinhard Fritz has embraced over the last one and a half decades is that of the Norland.  The Norland is Alvin’s residence and is also a Bed and Breakfast as well as providing some Boardroom functions for the Architectural practice.

Great care and attention has been applied in ensuring that the historic details of the residence are accurately reflected in the final form.  Restoration work has been applied to the heavily corbelled brick chimneys which were physically rebuilt by Alvin as his formal trade skills include extensive experience in the field of Masonry.  Other features which have been restored include the front verandah detailing, the column bases, and interior structural work.

Paramount Theatre Restoration,

Lethbridge, Alberta

The original Paramount Theatre, in Lethbridge, Alberta, was constructed in 1950 for Majestic Theatres Ltd., having a capacity of 1000 seats including a Guest Balcony for distinguished guests to watch a performance or movie.  In 1968 it was decided that a second theatre was needed and an additional 500 seat theatre was added onto the remaining northeast corner of the site.  After many years of entertainment to the City of Lethbridge the theatre was decommissioned in 2007.

Urban Insight Development Group Limited had purchased the building and envisioned a 2 storey renovation of the building into office and boutique shops.  Alvin Fritz Architect Inc. designed the building with a public walkway through the building connecting 4th Avenue and 8th Street, allowing pedestrians to stroll through the building bringing them by the new shops and boutiques.  The pedestrian walkway is greeted by an interior mezzanine that is given daylight by 2 large skylights over the open floor area.

The existing ceiling structures were removed to show the large steel trusses which are being left exposed to add a modern feel to the historical building.  The original sloped floors were covered over to allow for a level surface for the boutique and office spaces.

The renovated building will have a total of 33,000 SF of rentable area which includes 18,000 SF of office space, 7,500 SF of restaurant and lounge space, and 7,500 SF of street front retail space.



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