It was destined for an event that was not only historic and public, but also sacred. The design was tasked to be temporary yet permanent and humble yet noble. Deliverables included plans, elevations, D digital and physical models, and a prayer to win.
In April 2015, the Archdiocese of Washington DC solicited design entries from the students of the Catholic University of America for the furniture of Pope Francis' Mass during His visit to Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The central focus was the chair, ambo and altar; timeless pieces were desired. In addition to being visually, artistically and architecturally consistent and compliant to Catholic liturgy, practical considerations such as the need to transport, assemble and dismantle design elements in a short period of time were pivotal design requests. Students were encouraged to engage non-related disciplines to inform their designs. Their submissions exceeded all these requirements.
This book is a collection of works submitted for the Papal Sanctuary Charrette Competition. The variety of student design submissions reflect the seemingly impossible task of integrating Pope Francis' humility with the grandeur of the Shrine's interior. Each entry resounds of theology, technology and sustainable imperatives bound into artful manifestations of design thinking.
""How to design temporary liturgical furniture for a one day event seen by millions? What symbolism or meaning, if any, should be ascribed to a papal altar, ambo and cathedra? This book showcases the work of 48 students who grappled with these issues and came up with their own creative solutions. While the winning design is now a permanent installation at the National Shrine, all of these projects offer a wide range of ideas for those interested in liturgical architecture!" -Duncan Stroik, Editor, Sacred Architecture Journal; Professor of Architecture, University of Notre Dame
"Documentation of the creation of the liturgical furnishings for Pope Francis on his historic visit to The Catholic University of America and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, this book takes us behind the scenes of the variety of student submissions, the designers' intent, the jury's selection of the finalists, and the fabrication of the winning design. This volume is a great tribute to young talent and vision."–Dr. Michael J. Crosbie, Editor, Faith & Form: The Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art and Architecture