Sep 26, 2013 / 04:16 am
The leading architects in the massive undertaking of renovating the ‘Crystal Cathedral’ into Christ Cathedral for the Diocese of Orange, Calif., have expressed their excitement about the daunting project.
On Sept. 18, Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Orange announced that Johnson Fain and Rios Clementi Hale Studios had been selected to collaborate on the transformation of the landmark building and its 34-acre campus.
The Diocese of Orange purchased the 3,000-seat Crystal Cathedral in February of 2012 from the Protestant church which founded it. The purchase was made after Crystal Cathedral had filed for bankruptcy in October 2010 when some of its creditors sued for payment.
“That the Catholic Church would take on a project like this, that they would be able to move to a site with this much promise in it, both in terms of the breadth of the site itself and the possibility of a campus of multiple buildings and multiple activities…is exciting,” Scott Johnson, design partner at Johnson Fain, told CNA Sept. 17.
“And, that they would take on as the site of their cathedral, and in particular, the former Crystal Cathedral, which is quite an important landmark building…(the diocese) had great regard and respect for what it means in the cultural community, and they were very thoughtful about it, as they were about the other buildings.”
Johnson Fain will focus on re-vamping the interior of the cathedral to make it suitable for Catholic worship, while Rios Clementi Hale Studios will oversee the integration of the rest of the campus, including its six other buildings, into a unified whole.
“The site has three really important pieces of architecture,” Mark Rios, principal of Rios Clementi Hale Studios, explained to CNA. The campus buildings “really were never collectively designed,” he added: “one building was added in sequence after another, and the parking lots were modified to receive a new building, but the exterior spaces here can be really fantastic.”
Rios will be focused on master planning, examining how the buildings “all sort of tie together and support each other.” …
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