The Catholic University of America

Media Advisory


Kickoff: CUA, National Shrine to Announce Dome Design Contest

WHEN: 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25

WHERE: The Catholic University of America
Edward M. Crough Center for Architectural Studies, Koubek Auditorium
620 Michigan Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C.


On Feb. 25, CUA's School of Architecture and Planning and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will announce a student design competition for spatial design concepts for the mosaic for the Trinity Dome in the Basilica.

Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, university chancellor and chairman of the board of trustees of the Basilica, and Monsignor Walter R. Rossi, rector of the Basilica, will provide remarks.

The Trinity Dome - the largest dome of the National Shrine's interior - is the underside of the blue exterior Great Dome that is an indelible part of the Catholic University landscape.

"It is the last and most challenging dome to receive adornment," says George Martin, associate professor of architecture and planning. "The National Shrine asked the School of Architecture and Planning to become involved with this due to the use of advanced modeling and visualization tools with which our students are familiar."

The overall challenge of the competition is for the student to explore the complex variety of design issues related to perception and experience of the dome mosaic, which will be viewed from many places throughout the Basilica. The dome rises more than 100 feet above the floor and is 89 feet wide.

Entries will be on display at CUA's Edward M. Crough Center in the Miller Exhibit Room from March 13 to March 23.

The competition is open to all students currently enrolled at Catholic University. The winners of the contest will be announced on March 23 at noon in the Crough Center, Koubek Auditorium. The Basilica will award cash prizes of $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for third place. The prize-winning submissions will be on display in the Miller Exhibit Room through April 14.

MEDIA: To cover the event and to arrange for interviews, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in CUA's Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600 or Jacquelyn Hayes, director of communications of the Basilica, at 202-281-0615.