RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE / RESTORATION
Trinity Church Wall Street New York , New York
• MBB Architects
This project encompasses the restoration and renovation of the interior , exterior and grounds of New York ’ s iconic Trinity Church . The third church building to occupy the site since 1696 , was designed by Richard Upjohn in the Gothic Revival style and was constructed with a brownstone facade from 1839 to 1846 . The building and graveyard are a city , state , and federal landmark .
The priorities of the project included : enhancing the worship experience , making the space more approachable and comfortable , enhancing its welcoming qualities , and creating a more sustainable and resilient building and grounds . In addition , the architects ’ mandate was to root the project in historic research and precedence and to put the building on a sustainable path for the next thirty years .
The project includes a wide breadth of interventions , from redesigning the interior aesthetic of the nave to conserving historic ornament to make the entire site accessible . The chancel , the most significant area of the church , required conservation of important artwork and materials as well as reconfiguring to better support worship . The historic stained
St . Augustine Cathedral Kalamazoo , Michigan
• Duncan G . Stroik , LLC , architect glass was carefully conserved or restored with historically appropriate recreations .
The exterior site was re-graded , paved , and re-landscaped with sustainable native plantings . A new permanent canopy was added to accommodate the worship procession . A new LED lighting scheme helps the observer “ read ” the church ’ s architecture at night .
St . Augustine Church was designed by the office of Ralph Adams Cram — famous for his mastery of the Gothic Revival — and completed in 1951 . However , it was never transformed into a cathedral when it became the seat of the diocese in 1971 . The present bishop wanted it to transform the space into a true cathedral building for the seventieth anniversary of the church and the fiftieth anniversary of the diocese . To this end , Duncan G . Stroik designed a new sanctuary and renovated the nave .
A new elevated predella with a marble and plaster baldachin draws attention to the altar and tabernacle . Through careful documentation , the installation team was able to reconstruct the original high altar from found pieces of marble in the cathedral , combined with new matching pieces fabricated in Italy . A new bishop ’ s chair is located to the left side of the sanctuary with a marble backdrop . Balancing this cathedra on the opposite side of the sanctuary is an octagonal marble ambo with a stained mahogany sounding board .
Niches of Indiana Limestone at the sanctuary wall were reconstructed from historic drawings . Symbols relating to St . Augustine of Hippo repeat throughout the design . The sanctuary walls are painted with symbols such as a shell and the saint ’ s monogram . The baldachin ’ s Carrara Corinthian column capitals are crowned with a heart aflame , a reference to the saint .
“ The jury applauds the amount of research completed before the design of this restoration . There is a faithfulness to original materials and forms , which are well executed . It feels as though we have been transported back to the day the cathedral was originally completed .”
“ The sensitivity to this landmark historic building is well done , and the design of the new canopy makes this element virtually disappear , which is amazing . The design is not historicized or passed off as something it isn ’ t . It ’ s honest in its interpretation of the church ’ s original architecture .”
Francis Dzikowski Colin Winterbottom
SACRED PLACES • SUMMER 2022 21