As a realistic counterproposal to the design originally offered by architect Santiago Calatrava, this version of the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California, is designed in a regionally sensitive California vernacular style that calls to mind the "city on a hill that cannot be hid" as described by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. Rather than disappearing into the blankness of the Oakland business district, the design captures the eye as a place set apart, a sacred precinct of the City of God, within the hustle of the City of Man.
Designed to be completed within the same $131,000,000 budget as originally planned (the Cathedral that was eventually built came in at $190M), the design is intended to be an apples to apples comparison of modernist an traditional design. Moreover, tt was a primary principle of the design to be built to last with traditional building techniques, and yet using the latest in building technology, so as to last centuries rather than years, and could thus far outlast and have a much lower life-cycle cost, and life-cycle assessment than the effected design. For this, it was awarded the Gertrude S. Stein Award.
Rather than looking dated within the decade of construction, the more traditional form looks forward to centuries of effective use, while recalling millenia of symbolic and patrimonial history. From the past, For the present, Forming the Future.