Johnson Fain and Rios Clementi Hale Studios have been selected to renovate the Philip Johnson-designed Crystal Cathedral and the surrounding campus into the Christ Cathedral for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, California.
Johnson Fain will be responsible for overhauling the cathedral’s interior to make the structure suitable for Catholic worship, with plans to “conserve and restore” the exterior’s 10,000 panes of glass, design partner Scott Johnson told the Catholic News Agency. “The new architecture will really be in the refashioning of the operational aspects and the interior elements of the shell.”
Seating more than 2,700 congregants, the cathedral opened in 1981 as the place of worship for Crystal Cathedral Ministries, one of the first “mega-churches” in the United States. Johnson also said that his firm plans to “significantly rework the bottom [of the church], everything from the mezzanine seating down to the ground level,” paying particular attention to the altar and sanctuary.
Rios Clementi Hale will oversee the integration of the 34-acre campus and its six additional buildings. The cathedral is expected to reopen in 2016.