Saint Sarkis Armenian Church in Texas, designed by New York architect David Hotson, has been selected as America’s building of last year in an online poll.
The survey was carried out among members of World-Architects, a network of US designers and building professionals. They were presented with a list of 40 projects and asked to choose which was the “most significant” building completed in the US last year.
The church in Carrollton, in the Dallas–Fort Worth conurbation, was chosen by 64% of the total votes cast.
The design was based on the archetypal Church of Saint Hripsime close to the Armenian capital of Yerevan, which was completed in 618 AD, but updated with the help of modern digital design and production technologies.
One of the most striking details in Hotson’s design is the church’s west façade, which is covered by high-resolution printing carried out in Italy in collaboration with Fiandre Architectural Surfaces.
At first sight this forms a traditional Armenian cross, which on closer inspection is composed of interwoven geometric patterns derived from the Armenian artistic tradition.
On still closer inspection, the pattern dissolves into a grid of tiny pixels, inspired by the Armenian symbol for infinity. Each unique pattern symbolises an individual who died in the genocide.
The church was consecrated on 23 April, and the first service was celebrated the following day, which is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the genocide.
No visible services
The interior of the church was stripped of lighting fixtures and has no visible mechanical services, which the architect says lends it an ethereal quality.
Hotson commented: “This award is shared with everyone involved in the design and construction of this building, including the members of the congregation and the international Armenian diaspora for whom this building has a special meaning.
“High on the list of invaluable collaborators was the team at Fiandre who have contributed an extraordinary level of innovation and an impeccable level of execution that is central to the aesthetic, emotional and experiential success of this special project.”