The Cathedral of Christ of Light is located in Oakland, California. It is a Catholic church that was dedicated in 2008, and since then, has been a remarkable example of contemporary religious architecture. The unique circular design of the construction is quite impressive in aesthetic appeal. Moreover, it is also a practical place for worship.
The first Mass in Oakland’s East Bay area was supervised and officiated by a Spanish Franciscan friar. It was recorded in 1772. A few decades later after the first Mass, a mission was successfully established in the area. Hence, the Catholic community started growing quickly, and even welcomed numerous immigrants from Germany, Portugal, Italy and Ireland around the 19th century.
In 1962, the people in Oakland successfully established and set up the Diocese of Oakland. The very first Oakland Cathedral was the famous Church of St. Francis de Sales. It was located in the area’s City Center. Unfortunately, it was destroyed beyond any chances of repair during the Loma Prieta earthquake that shook the region in 1989. The modern day cathedral is located on the exact same site.
Construction plans for the Cathedral of Christ of Light were first presented in 2000. The construction began five years later. Craig Hartman was the lead architect on the project. He worked with another designer named, Walter Netsch. The Cathedral was dedicated three years later on 25th September, 2008. The name of the cathedral is related to a Vatican II document that proclaimed Christ will remain the Light of every country.
The Cathedral of Christ of Light is made of glass, wood and concrete. It overlooks the region’s waterfront in the East Bay region of Oakland. Unlike other traditional cross-shaped cathedrals, this one has a distinct circular design. The architect even placed the altar at the center. As the name suggests, the cathedral’s interior focuses on light. The building features an oculus window that gives a great view of the sunlight and sky. The sun shines directly on the cathedral’s altar.
According to the architect, the cathedral uses latest techniques and technology for sustainability. He has used glass extensively to allow natural heat and sunlight into the cathedral throughout the day. Moreover, more warmth is also offered by the exceptional lining of standard wooden slats. These have been manufactured from sustainable and ecofriendly Douglas Fir.
Besides the concrete structure, the cathedral also features a high end system to focus on natural convection. This helps the cathedral’s interior quite cool during the region’s summer season. The concrete used for the construction is also special. It has been manufactured from industrial-waste fly ash, which is a common byproduct associated with coal production. As such the cathedral has been designed to last more than 300 years.