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Cathedral of Christ the Light
Winner - Gold
Designer: Craig Hartman & SOM Design Team
Design Type: Architecture, Spaces
Company / Organization / School: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
The Cathedral of Christ the Light provides a sanctuary in the broadest sense of the word. Located in downtown Oakland on the edge of Lake Merritt, this house of worship offers a sense of solace, spiritual renewal, and respite from the secular world. A non-linear approach looks beyond the layers of iconography to honor the Church’s 2,000-year history and, in turn, resists forcing a specific point of view. The project’s overarching goals were to design a space that resonates with the Cathedral’s specific temporal, physical, and cultural place and to create architecture that is worthy of renewal by future generations. As its name suggests, the Cathedral of Christ the Light draws on the tradition of light as a sacred phenomenon. In consideration of the traditions of Bay Area architecture, the most elemental qualities of light, material, and form were used to create sacred space within an ethos of sustainability. Through Its poetic introduction, indirect daylight ennobles modest materials—primarily wood, glass, and concrete. In that respect, the Cathedral’s qualities are ancient, but its execution is based upon contemporary systems, technologies and aesthetic representations