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Exhibits currently on display

Cathedral of Christ the Light

Company: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Industry: Architecture, Engineering & Construction

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill illuminates the simplicity of light in a complex form.

Conceptual design

Natural light is the central feature of the first great cathedral of the 21st century. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) wanted to explore how they could use natural light and warm wood in new ways.

Door handles

The door handles were custom-designed to resemble fish, an important emblem of the Christian faith.

End-wall design

To maximize and heighten the cathedral’s interaction with light, SOM designed an interior shell with wood latticework in warm tones and a metal wall with 94,423 perforations, depicting an image of Jesus.


The outermost glass skin of the cathedral is supported by a latticework of Douglas fir. The wood’s inherent flexibility makes the structure as earthquake-resistant as steel, at a lower cost.