St. Andrew CA

Antiochian Orthodox Church in Riverside CA

There were several challenges facing the design team in this particular project. This parish consists of members with very diverse congregational and ethnic backgrounds. As a result the architect had to respond with a design which creates an inclusive fusion of various ancient Orthodox churches, in particular St Catherine in Thessaloniki and the Vatopedi Monastery at Mount Athos, Saint Andrew Orthodox Church. This stylistic decision was a direct result of dealing with a majority convert parish.

In addition there were numerous budget constraints, and creating a relationship with an existing building on site. The Parish has officially Consecrated their new Orthodox temple on the highly visible site adjacent to UC Riverside, and as the architect of this beautiful and impressive temple, Christ Kamages was on hand with Fr Josiah Trenham and the rest of the Parish for the ceremony commemorated on December 13th, 2011 to celebrate this important occasion.

This project is a two part phasing study. The next phase is to build the Hall component of the design, which is in process of getting financed.

In order to fulfill their goals and need while remaining on their current site, the Antiochian parish of St. Andrew desired a new temple immersed in and radiating the venerable tradition of Orthodoxy.

An inclusive fusion of various ancient Orthodox churches, in particular the Vatopedi Monastery at Mount Athos, inspires the new temple on a visible site adjacent to UC Riverside.
Architecturally, this traditional form is characterized in plan by a dome set within a square with a series spaces reinforcing the cruciform shape of the church. The dominant features of this church are therefore the seven distinctive domes, influenced by the church of St. Katherine in Thessalonica, Greece.

The mix of the light-filled Byzantine Central Dome and four Supporting Domes, Romanian Conical Dome above the Chapel, and Antiochian Pyramidal Dome above the Baptistery reinforce the Orthodox presence and proclamation, as a witness to a Pan-Orthodox Parish, that the dome’s volumetric circular geometry symbolizes heaven, eternity and the compassion and inclusiveness of God’s unceasing love while distributing God’s light and grace to the interior of the Church.
The site plan also contains provisions for expanded parking, a future Great Hall & Administrative/visitor center, educational complex, and a convenient drop-off directly in front of the temple revolving around an Athonite phiali. As a modification of the fountain tradition, the phiali is a large basin of sanctified water surrounded by columns and surmounted by a dome expanding the liturgical flow outdoors. Symbolically inclusive and open to all, the phiali shows that the church exists not to remain closed up inside but to flow out into the world and transform it.

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