Architecture by Cedar took part in a design competition for a 5000 seater Catholic cathedral to be built in Home bay, Kenya. Architectural concepts for Catholic churches often embody the principles and symbolism of the Catholic faith while providing a sacred space for worship and spiritual contemplation. Here is a description of our approach to the architectural design concept:
The church design follows a traditional cruciform layout, representing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The exterior features a grand façade, with a prominent entrance flanked by towering bell towers, symbolizing the gateway to the divine. The façade includes intricate carvings, stained glass windows, and religious sculptures, depicting biblical scenes or saints.
Upon entering the church, the narthex welcomes the faithful into a transitional space before they step into the nave. The nave is expansive and awe-inspiring, with high ceilings and a central aisle leading to the sanctuary. The pews are arranged to face the sanctuary, accommodating the congregation and fostering a sense of community.
The sanctuary serves as the focal point of the church. It is elevated, emphasizing its sacredness and significance. The altar is placed centrally, representing Christ's presence as the focal point of worship. The altar may be adorned with exquisite artwork and liturgical objects, such as a crucifix, candles, and an ambo for readings.
Behind the altar, a magnificent stained glass window or a large mosaic depicts a scene from the life of Christ or the Virgin Mary, enveloping the sanctuary in divine light and colors. The sanctuary may also house a tabernacle, providing a sacred space for the reservation of the Eucharist.
We featured architectural details like arches, vaulted ceilings, and columns to reflect the Gothic or Romanesque styles, emphasizing the transcendent and eternal nature of the faith. The materials used, such as stone or marble, evoke a sense of permanence and timelessness.
The church design incorporates practical considerations as well. It includes spaces for sacraments like baptism, reconciliation, and marriage. Additionally, there may be a sacristy for the preparation and storage of liturgical items and vestments.
The concept of the Catholic church aims to create a sacred space that inspires awe, facilitates worship, and fosters a deep connection with God. It combines architectural beauty, symbolism, and liturgical functionality to create an environment conducive to prayer, contemplation, and the celebration of the Catholic faith.