The team that guided Sacred Heart Cathedral’s $11-million renovation and addition received an international design award and recognition in the November issue of the international religious architecture journal Faith & Form.
Rochester-based LaBella Associates and Williamson Pounders Architects of Memphis, Tenn., were among those in the project team honored by Faith & Form/IFRAA International Awards Program for Religious Art and Architecture with a religious architecture honor award.
The project team was honored for work to bring the 75-year-old, Gothic Revival cathedral into compliance with current Roman Catholic liturgical standards and to introduce new spaces for gatherings, meetings and administration.
The jury that selected the project for the award said, "This project shows how a church built a long time ago can be rejuvenated by the careful selection of furnishings, lighting and an emphasis on where the altar should be placed in a Roman Catholic house of worship. There is an appropriate identification of what is rich and supportive of a sense of place, and elevating it respectfully through restraint. The new design respects the community, celebrates it in a new way, and changes the focus of the worship experience. The wood chairs and wood ceiling tie the space together and uplift it."
The renovation included the installation of a new baptismal font and altar; improvements to the building’s lighting and sound systems; and the repainting and restoration of the cathedral’s ceiling, walls and statues. A new eucharistic chapel, an enclosed gathering area, more parking and small parks with outdoor shrines were added. The cathedral’s slate roof was replaced, a new office wing was constructed and the original office wing was remodeled. The cathedral was rededicated in 2005.
As part of final upgrades to the cathedral, the new Halloran-All Saints pipe organ, built by organ builder Paul Fritts, was installed in 2008.