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  • Lumen Christi

    The Cathedral of „Christ, the Light” in Oakland

    Architect: Craig W. Hartman, Skidmore Owings & Merrill
    Text: Zorán Vukoszávlyev PhD
    Photos: SOM / César Rubio, Timothy Hursley, John Blaustein

    Managing the San Francisco-based office of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, which is a brand with a pleasant ring, Craig W. Hartman opened up new aesthetic dimensions within the flourishing era of modernity at the turn of the millennium – the cathedral in Oakland refers to forms and symbols with high-standard sensitivity to construction and refined composedness. The construction logic of modern architecture evolves along crystal-clear aesthetics. The materials used include concrete and glass, the hard linear character of which is counteracted by the warmth and softness of wood. Structure is defined by the gente arch of huge wooden struts rising to daring heights from the basic basement walls. The individual structural components of the compact basic form are demonstrative in the construction evolving in a declaredly symbolic comprehensive form in the ceiling structure. Details of the design highlight the sculpturesque articulation of exposed concrete and the precision of the seams of wooden elements. Tradition present in the symbolic features and the creative force rooted in modern construction aesthetics converge integrally in the actual and spiritual presence of the Christ-image above and behind the altar.