The following comes from a mid-Sept. posting on the website of the Diocese of Orange.
…Today, at the eighth annual Orange County Catholic Prayer breakfast held within the inspiring glass façade of the Christ Cathedral, the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, bishop of Orange, announced the selection of two architectural firms to collaborate on the renovation and development of the cathedral structure and its surrounding grounds – Johnson Fain and Rios Clementi Hale Studios.
“A Cathedral like any church, synagogue or mosque, says to those who come to it, ‘here we look to heaven for the grace to do God’s loving will on earth.’ The Crystal Cathedral is an established international landmark and is much lauded for its architectural inspiration and iconic stature. At its dedication the Architectural Record described the building as, ‘both an inspiring and an inspired structure’. Johnson Fain and Rios Clementi Hale Studios have the experience and ability to respect the building’s original design inspiration while creating a fitting and functional spiritual home for Orange County’s 1.3 million Catholics. These two firms see this important work as more than a renovation project, but as a reflection of God and his people on earth,” said Bishop Vann.
Johnson Fain, whose design partner Scott Johnson, worked with Philip Johnson, FAIA in the original design and construction of the Crystal Cathedral, has been selected to lead the renovation of the cathedral. This internationally acclaimed design firm will re-imagine the interior of this iconic structure to support the celebration of Catholic liturgy and the Eucharist. Certain elements that will need to be accommodated within the building are; a central altar, crucifix and corpus, baptismal font, tabernacle, blessed sacrament chapel, ambo, narthex and other items. The renovation of this sacred space is more than simply adding essential elements in support of Catholic worship. Johnson Fain will seamlessly accommodate Catholic worship needs within the existing structure while bringing the focus of the building and those celebrating within to the mystery of faith and the Eucharist, while embodying and reflecting the common cultural and faithful experience of Catholics in Orange County. The external façade of this globally recognizable building will remain essentially unchanged; the interior will be altered to support the aforementioned elements….
“In the Cathedral, the landmark architecture of the building shell will be cleaned and restored. Interior improvements on the main floor and mezzanines will upgrade access, sightlines, finishes and environmental comfort. Interior architecture will be designed to host an array of mass, celebrations, sacraments, services and non-liturgical events. The historic and internationally renowned organ which has been in place since the cathedral opened will be meticulously restored and reinstalled. Acoustics and lighting will be improved and the new cathedral will be open in renewed form to all,” concluded Johnson….