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SentryGlas® Expressions™ helps bring peaceful light to cathedral dome in Sacramento

Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament's restored inner dome lay light achieved thanks to SentryGlas® Expressions™

A key feature of the new restoration of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, California (USA), originally dedicated in 1889, is the reopening of an interior central dome, which had been covered over since the 1930s. The restored inner dome, with its brilliantly-colored, 7.3 m- (24 ft-) diameter lay light incorporating DuPont™ SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative laminated glass technology in lieu of traditional stained glass, at once dramatically alters the interior look of the Cathedral, allowing light to filter down from high above, and complies with today's safety standards for overhead glazing. The restored inner dome was a highlight of the Cathedral's January 2005 rededication ceremonies. The lay light glass provider was Arch Deco Glass, a division of Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. Inc. of Colombus, Ohio.

DuPont™ SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative laminated glass allows light to filter down from above, while meeting safety standards for overhead glazing.
The owner's representative and supervising architect, Harry C. Hallenbeck, FAIA of Vanir Construction Management Inc., told LGN: "Aesthetically, the result using SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative glass technology is even more wonderful than we could have anticipated. We had first assumed that we would use traditional, leaded stained glass but the building code requirements specified that we needed to incorporate a layer of laminated glass beneath the stained glass for overhead safety reasons. This would have involved a double layer of cost! We then looked at using laminated glass with colored films but we could not obtain a result giving us the design freedom we wanted, or that resembled traditional stained glass.

"When we discovered SentryGlas® Expressions™ and showed the technology to our lay light artist, Jeff Greene of New York-based EverGreene Painting Studios, we all quickly agreed that it would be a fabulous solution to our needs, aesthetically and functionally.

"The color matching between the 16 flat, pyramid-shaped pieces of laminated glass surrounding the centerpiece is outstanding, allowing us to use a repeat design that is undetectable to the naked eye. The 2.1 m- (7 ft-) diameter, sixteen-faceted centerpiece itself depicts a heavenly white dove amidst radiant clouds symbolizing the Holy Spirit that is breathtaking in its simplicity and powerfully executed. The dove hovers - safely - 33.5 m (110 ft) directly above the altar of the Cathedral, showering colored light down onto it with a lovely effect.

“When we discovered SentryGlas® Expressions™ and showed the technology to our lay light artist, Jeff Greene of New York-based EverGreene Painting Studios, we all quickly agreed that it would be a fabulous solution to our needs, aesthetically and functionally.”

"In a sense this decorative glass piece at once hints at a technique that is thousands of years old - traditional stained glass - but also, because it feels a little different (the colors are not so deep, the lead lines not as dark), it translates the design to the architectural vernacular of our times in a very pleasing way. "In summary, the use SentryGlas® Expressions™ for the lay light was a splendid solution on three fronts: cost efficiency; meeting the safety codes and outstanding - and very unique - visuals, both during the day and when the dome is illuminated at night."