2014 International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture
19 Dec 2014
2014 International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture

Renovation Award – St. James Cathedral Centre

Nothing impressed the 2014 awards jury (which met last July to review 134 submissions) as much as the sheer diversity of the submissions across the categories, and the overall high quality of the work. The outstanding excellence of projects put forward for awards made the jury’s work challenging, and it resulted in one of the highest number of winners in recent memory—a total of 32 awards were bestowed this year, as compared with 19 winners last year. …The 2014 Religious Art and Architecture Awards Jury included Terry Byrd Eason (liturgical designer, jury chair), Michael Berkowicz (artist), Craig Rafferty and Doug Johnston (architects), and Rev. Robb Webb (clergy).

To what did the jury attribute the superb level of submissions this year? Jury members agreed that religious art and architecture are flourishing throughout the world, and that artists, architects, liturgical designers, students, and others are exploring ways to balance tradition with new demands of religious practice. The landscape of sacred space is changing, along with dramatic shifts in organized religion. And while those seismic events are greatest among the world’s more traditional and established religions, the jury noted that the award winners, and many who made submissions to the awards program, have chosen not to be identified by just their traditions – a choice that the jury celebrated as courageous, creative, and vital if traditional faith communities are to survive. “They are willing to explore other avenues in those traditions,” one juror commented, “to reinvent them, to start new traditions, perhaps.”

With respect to the St. James Cathedral Centre renovation and expansion project, the jury noted that “The cathedral’s outreach programs were struggling in the existing parish house, and this design has brought new life into its outreach. The designers have found a way to introduce additional elements to make a cathedral a community, which is fostered by its transparency. There is a delightful relationship of the interior to the exterior.”.

Published in Faith & Form: The Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art and Architecture, No. 4/2014, pg 27, and online at https://faithandform.com/feature/2014-international-awards-program-relig...