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The Crystal Cathedral - Essay Example

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The Crystal Cathedral

It rises up in the centre of the park and has around 10,000 pieces of tempered silver-colored glass windows encased in a network of white steel trusses. The interiors of the cathedral can allow a seating congregation of nearly 3,000 people. If required, the portions of the exterior walls open up which allow additional members to remain in their cars while viewing the worship service in the insides. The glass used on the external surface is reflective. It allows only 8 per cent of light and heat to penetrate to the insides. The building happens to be the world's first all-glass church.
The plan comprises of the basic elements of a typical church in a shape of a four pointed star some 460ft by 200ft that reaches up to 128ft at its apex. Its height is even bigger than that of Notre Dame in Paris. The church complex is designed by American architect Philip Johnson and John Burgee. The building is huge in scale, and its all of its walls are clad by mirrored glass to the outside over a steel lattice structure. It has a symmetrical plan and an asymmetrical section.
The crystalline shaped and glass-covered steel lattice frames have been used to give the building its present structure and form. In the floor plan of the church, the nave has been squished to pull out the transept. The idea behind doing this was to get the public closer to the performances and the alter place to have a better view of the activities. On further simplification of this geometry, this form has eventually given rise to the form of a star in its plan, with free-standing balconies in three points and the chancel in the fourth corner. The glass hung on the steel lattice frames gives an effect of a non-massive building. On the outsides the mirrored glass makes an entirely mirrored building with only around one tenth of sunlight entering the insides of the building. The construction with a triodetic steel frame helps in venting the hotter air to the outside from its top and it functions as a gigantic chimney. This provides natural cooling the interiors as cool air enters from the lower openings.








Image 2: the aerial view of the Crystal Cathedral in the park, note its star shaped plan
Made almost entirely of glass and a framework of steel, the cathedral is having an angular, mirror-like exterior, a transparent sun-lit interior, a giant television screen, and an altar place made out of marble. The walls and roof are clad in the mirrored glass over a structure of space frame and it helps in attaining passive solar heating in small proportions. The openable strips of the ventilating windows also help in attaining wind cooling. This is needed as the building is located in suburban area of Garden Grove having a climate of mild desert. The apex at the top is made with the help of triodetic steel frame that act as a chimney to carry out wind movements and provide natural cooling. The glass, being reflective by its characteristics, allows only eight per cent of light and heat to penetrate to the insides. The supporting structure is a triodetic steel frame. It works as a giant chimney and allows heat to rise out of the building and preventing a greenhouse effect. The cathedral has 10,000 panes of reflective glass, which allows only 8% of outside light into the church. This gives the interior a sub watery appearance. The audio services, ...Show more

Summary

The Crystal Cathedral located in Garden Grove in California was completed in different phases and the main sanctuary was opened for services in 1980. The present cathedral building in the park is designed by American architects Philip Johnson along with John Burgee…
Author : cheyenne26
The Crystal Cathedral essay example
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