• Goma Catholic Cathedral/ Lexicon + Ion Architects

Architects: Lexicon + Ion  
Location: Goma,  Democratic Republic of the Congo
Project Team: Oscar Onguto, Kamata Gachanja, Edwin Seda, Frederick Mae, Wycliffe Waburiri
Photographer: Greyscale Studios

Project Status: Ongoing
Seating: Approximately 1500 people

Lexicon + Ion architects have just released plans for a proposed catholic cathedral in Congo modelled on the concept of Mary mother of Jesus, Jesus and his followers towards an all-inclusive and equal setting.

Accustomed upon a hill at the second highest peak of the site, the Goma catholic cathedral employs site height differentials to make itself noticed. The concept is drawn from the image of Mary mother of Jesus fused with an element of Jesus with his disciples in tow, all towards achieving a meaningful concept that is both iconic and functional, the ultimate dual capability of design.

Project architect Oscar Onguto notes that the design of the Goma Cathedral adopts the characteristics and conditions of the people of Congo and their needs towards reverence and exaltation of God and fuses them into a concept that supports this. ‘It is the modern catholic spirit’ he says. It is a building that comes from a single box into further developments.

The building has blocked all light from the ground level to utilize natural lighting from the top of the building with vertebrae like structures that let in light and diffuses with supplements from a series of square boxes on the elevation that also house the Way of the Cross procession around the church.

Designing a church requires for one to cater for all the demographic groups in trms of public spaces and internal comfort. The church uses its front esplanade as a fore-court that can be used for multiple public purposes and as transitional spaces into the church space.

The organic feel of the church coupled with a rectilinear form in coupling provides for a dramatic shift towards a design world of churches that has now been colonized by flamboyance and an affinity for a higher  design discourse.

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