THE CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE LIGHT. The Making of a 21st Century Cathedral: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
| Monograph on the grandiose SOM-designed Cathedral of Christ the Light, the first cathedral to be built entirely in the twenty-first Century
Two overlapping circles, known as a mandorla, form the basis of the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California, which was completed in 2008. The design, by Craig W. Hartman of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), combines the early Christian symbol of the fish—ichthys—with an innovative structure made of glass, wood, and concrete. A glazed, bivalve exterior envelops the building, while a layer of fritted glass diffuses light and heat. Inside, the vaulted wooden ceiling soars forty meters upward and is reminiscent of a boat, while an oculus in the enormous dome opens up to the sky. Aisles are like rays leading to the rectangular altar. The unique Omega window behind the altar was created with the help of new technology developed specifically for the cathedral: an image of the Romanesque relief of Christ from the tympanum of Chartres Cathedral was digitized, after which a laser was used to perforate holes in an aluminum panel, rendering an eighteen-meter-tall pixilated image. The image of the Pantocrator is visible as 94,000 points of light inside the cathedral.
- Introduction by Paul D. Minnihan - Texts by Karla Britton, Maristella Casciato, John Cummins, Paul Goldberger, Craig Hartman, Paul D. Minnihan, Pierluigi Serraino, Allen Henry Vigneron - Graphic design by Lonny Israel