Cathedral of Christ the LightCathedral of Christ the Light
© Cesar Rubio/Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill LLP
© Cesar Rubio/Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill LLP

Cathedral of Christ the Light

Oakland, California

Located in downtown Oakland, the Cathedral of Christ the Light is the first cathedral built in the twenty-first century, and was constructed to replace the Saint Francis de Sales Cathedral, which was destroyed by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Consisting of a sanctuary, conference center, chancery office, rectory, residence, café, bookstore, mausoleum and health services center, the building’s tower of glass, wood and concrete has been compared to the look of a bishop’s mitre. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre consulting for seating and event systems design in the sanctuary.

The semitransparent design of the soaring sanctuary ceiling meant that the firm was tasked with the challenge of designing theatrical systems that would seamlessly integrate with the interior screen wall, thus totally concealing the theatrical and rigging elements from the worshiper’s view.

Custom pews were designed and configured to maximize seat count and optimize sight lines.

Design Architect: Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Architect of Record: Kendall/Heaton Associates, Inc.
Acoustics:Shen Milsom & Wilke
Size: 250,000 SF
Cost: $190,000,000
Completion: 2008