This art deco-inspired structure design dealt with it step-backs and verticality and included an ornate terra cotta decorative scheme that portrays coastal history and wildlife. The tallest building in the British Empire when completed, this landmark is the premier example of the art deco style in British Columbia.
“The Greek-cross plan and the barrel vaults of this concrete church give a Byzantine effect to the interior, but the extreme starkness highlights the geometry of the forms. On the outside, the rectilinear recesses of the portal and the large, smooth, stuccoed surfaces of the geometric masses indicate the influence of functionalist architecture, and the prismatic forms of the upper parts are reminiscent of art deco. Scott's associates were Sharp and Thompson, local architects who built Vancouver's Crown United Church during the same period. The narrow windows capped with mitre arches, such as those of St James's, are a compromise between the pointed arch of Gothic architecture and the geometrical forms of the international style. The cubic mass of the church and its stucco covering are further evidence of the entrenchment of the modern style in BC.”
“Canadian Art Deco more usually followed not so much Carlu and France as the stylized form of ornament in the United States. Vancouver City Hall is particularly interesting both for this kind of ornament and for the dynamic cubic massing of its setbacks. The hard-edged geometry and column-like shafts between the recessed windows show the influence of Modern Classicism in the spandrels and on the friezes atop each block are vintage Art Deco, revealing the positive fusion that could be achieved between these two contemporary styles.”