Lux Gloria

Submitted by Sarah Hall

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Client: Cathedral of the Holy Family

Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $550,000

Project Team

Artist

Sarah Hall

Sarah Hall Studio

Industry Resource

Glasmalerei Peters GmbH

Glasmalerei Peters GmbH

Industry Resource

Christof Erban

Solar Engineer

Client

Bishop Donald Bolen

Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon

Art Consultant

Rosa Gebhardt

Liturgical Consultant

Fr. David Tumback

Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon

Overview

Beauty, technology and solar energy are combined in a unique solar art glass installation in the spire of the new Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, Canada. “Lux Gloria” (Light of Glory) is a landmark installation of three monumental south-facing windows that grace the upper façade. This project is a world first – a cathedral whose stained glass windows generate energy from sunlight, and provide a visible demonstration of environmental concern.

Goals

The design for “Lux Gloria” was inspired by the beauty of creation and Saskatchewan’s vast prairie skies. The largest window is 37 feet high by 12 feet wide and sits 107 feet above the ground. Each window is divided into 18 panels – 54 panels in total – with each panel being a unique size, shape and design.
At a practical level, the stained glass windows shade the interior of the worship space (and organ loft) from strong south light – an essential element of the building’s design. In contrast to traditional stained glass, the solar windows are highly visible to the exterior and form a seamless integration with the white cladding. Solar panels had been considered for the roof of the new Cathedral but their integration into the stained glass proved the most expressive and attractive option.

Process

The solar array is grid-connected and the installation is Saskatchewan’s first building-integrated photovoltaic system (BIPV– solar panels embedded into windows or walls). The Cathedral of the Holy Family will receive a rebate on their energy costs from the utility grid.

Additional Information

The city of Saskatoon enjoys an annual average of 2,381 hours of sunlight – the highest in Canada. With more than 1000 hand-soldered, silver coloured solar cells embedded in the windows, this installation is expected to produce about 2,500 kilowatt hours annually. The city of Saskatoon’s motto – “Saskatoon shines” is celebrated and embodied in this pioneering solar installation.