The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange selected Snyder Langston to join Johnson Fain in transforming the iconic all-glass Crystal Cathedral into Christ Cathedral. The extensive interior renovation was completed over a 24-month period and included a number of unique features and construction challenges, which required creative thinking from a high-performing team committed to overcoming obstacles and achieving success. After strengthening the main worship floor with carbon fiber, Snyder Langston erected 86,500 s.f. of scaffolding, to a height of 96’, to clean and paint the truss roof structure; and install new fire protection, a new lighting system and 11,500 quatrefoils, the project’s most notable design feature. The metal sail-shaped panels were strategically arranged and affixed to building’s space frame, significantly reducing solar heat gain and glare while improving the acoustical properties of the worship area. Seven hundred new LED lights illuminate the structure, ensuring that the reflection of the quatrefoil’s intricate pattern may be enjoyed day or night.
Over 300 tons of stone was imported from Italy, Turkey, Germany, and Tunisia for use as flooring and wall cladding throughout the worship level, Chapel and Baptistery. The wall panels for the Chapel and Baptistery are perforated metal with an embedded cloud-like pattern and feature a gilded, decorative dome ceiling. The motorized main entry pivot doors, made of steel with a burnished black patina finish, measure 28’ wide by 10’ high. Each door weighs 5,900 pounds. The crucifix, central to the Cathedral, is suspended by an approximately 7-ton steel and aluminum baldachin, clad with gilding. The marble altar weighs 9,000 pounds. Restoration of the building’s main structure was extensive and detailed: more than 10,000 man-hours were devoted to cleaning and painting the roof and wall trusses. The renovation continued on the exterior with refurbished landscaping and installation of over 93,000 s.f. of decorative pavers along walkways and in the plaza areas around the exterior of the Cathedral, which will encourage fellowship among parishioners and promote community connectedness.