A LEED-certified church in North Carolina
James Henry O'Brien - O'Brien & Keane
David Allen Company
The Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral is the new seat of the Bishop of Raleigh, North Carolina (USA) and will be used to host major liturgical celebrations, pilgrimages and events for the city’s Catholic community in place of the current Sacred Heart Cathedral. The project by the firm O’Brien & Keane draws from the heritage of traditional Catholic church architecture, adopting a cruciform structure with its main axis oriented in an east-to-west direction. The sanctuary is located at the intersection of the naves, under a round dome supported by a tholobate, while the tabernacle is positioned inside the eastern apse. Illuminated by clerestory windows, the cathedral will seat around 2,000 congregants inside the nave and transepts, separated from the side aisles by two rows of columns.
The references to classicism are also evident in the façade where the Doric and Ionic orders mark the partition between the first and second floors of the building. The square in front of the cathedral with its richly decorated paving serves as a public space and at the same time as a vehicular transit area.
The new church stands on a site with a total surface area of over 13,000 square metres, more than a quarter of which is occupied by plantations, densely planted flowerbeds and a wetland conservation area, as well as fields and gardens.
The interiors of the nave and transepts reflect the structure of the façades, with the classic Doric and Ionic orders reprised respectively inside the side aisle and the triforium. The pilasters above these two orders support the ribs of the barrel vault.
The building is dominated by a large dome with a height of more than 50 metres entirely covered with copper.
The project and materials used on the new building reflect the client’s desire to achieve high levels of energy efficiency and sustainability. For these reasons, ceramic tile was chosen to clad the surfaces of the nave, transepts and porch.
Ceramic tile stood out from the other solutions taken into consideration due to a number of characteristics, including its capacity to eliminate allergens and pollutants, the fact that it is chemically inert and does not absorb smoke or paint fumes, and its ability to inhibit the growth of mould, fungi and other organisms.
Moreover, the series of tiles chosen from the wide range offered by Emilceramica group (Back2Back by Ergon, Silverstone by Ergon and Q-stone by Provenza) contain a percentage of recycled ceramic materials and are produced in accordance with a UNI EN ISO 9001 certified process that guarantees the quality of the entire industrial cycle.
All the tiles installed in this project meet the requirements of the LEED building classification system (credits 4.1 and 4.2). Durability was another factor behind the decision to specify porcelain tile. And given the material’s compact, non-porous structure and consequently very low water absorption, its resistance to frost, staining, abrasion, scratching, breakage and chemicals, as well as its excellent non-slip characteristics, neither the architects nor the demanding client had second thoughts.
Emilgroup: Q-Stone (Provenza), Silverstone (Emilceramica), Back2Back (Ergon)
30x30, 60x60, 60x120 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): compliant