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Quick Facts on the Cathedral of Christ the Light

Short URL
gohist.co/s/318251
Names
Cathedral of Christ the Light Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland Christ the Light Cathedral
Address
2121 Harrison Street Oakland, California94612
Location
Oakland  locality
California  state
United States  country
North America  continent
Main date(s)
2005-2008
Coordinates
37.810547° N, 122.263112° W
Phone
(510) 271-1928

Description of the Cathedral of Christ the Light

Made of concrete, glass and wood, the Cathedral of Christ the Light stands overlooks the water in Oakland's East Bay. Instead of the traditional cross-shape of most cathedrals, it has a unique circular design with the altar placed at the center. Reflecting the cathedral's name, light is the main focus of the interior. An oculus window allows a view of the sky and sunlight to shine directly on the altar. The architect describes his creation this way:

"As its name suggests, the Cathedral draws on the tradition of light as a sacred phenomenon. Through its poetic introduction, indirect daylight ennobles modest materials—primarily wood, glass, and concrete. With the exception of evening activities, the Cathedral is lit entirely by daylight to create an extraordinary level of luminosity."
The cathedral uses the latest technology and techniques for sustainability. Its extensive use of glass provides abundant natural light and heat throughout the day, while further warmth is provided by the attractive lining of wooden slats, made from sustainable Douglas Fir.

A system of natural convection, along with the concrete in the structure, helps keep the interior cool in the summer. And even the concrete is special: it is made of industrial waste fly ash, a byproduct of coal production that takes less energy to produce than traditional cement.

In accordance with the Diocese's instructions, the cathedral was designed to last 300 years, particularly through earthquakes.

Holly Hayes
October 19, 2011

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