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Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Houston, TX

  • Client: Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
  • Architect: Ziegler Cooper
  • Photos: © Aker / Zvonkovic Photography
  • General Contractor: Linbeck Construction

To enhance the warmth of the exterior finishes, warm white ceramic metal halide lamping was utilized as the predominant light source. The bell tower base corners are illuminated with single in-grade uplights. In-grade spots push light up the vertical niches framing the main entry feature, and reveal the cross at the top. In-grade wallwashers evenly light the two shorter left and right wings. Ground floodlights wash large vertical architectural elements and highlight the set-back at the clerestory windows accentuating the multi-dimensional facade. Wall mounted uplights highlight the dome’s columns and cornice above. Hidden away on the roofs of the nave and transept, tight spots reveal the weathered copper dome and gold cross.

From the beginning, the interior design approach was to carefully integrate and conceal lighting within the architecture. The traditional use of decorative fixtures was purposefully avoided to fully showcase the space. Asymmetric luminaires concealed at the base of each clerestory window highlight window wells and uplight the barrel vault ceiling. Track lighting tucked into architectural slots along the nave provide general seating illumination, and accent the baptismal font. The Cathedra (Bishop’s Chair) and Crucifix are accented from theatrical ellipsoidals located high on the opposite side of the raised sanctuary. Side aisle shrines and adjacent bronze Stations of the Cross are dramatically highlighted from concealed track. Recessed halogen downlights softly bathe walls for an additional layer of light. Dimmable fluorescents concealed within vertical niches wash light across the stone wall beyond.

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