St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church was Master Planned by the firm for an eight acre site which is handsome in its rural, rolling character and commands a good view of the surrounding San Ramon Valley area and distant hills.
The Main Church (14,000 sq.ft.) was the first phase design and construction and represents dominant focal point of the Master Plan. Its sanctuary seats 890 persons. The architectural character is simple and dignified, visually emphasizing the religious aspect while in harmony with its existing surroundings. A unique feature of its site planning was the desire of the congregation to have the building so located that it possessed a direct view of Mount Diablo. Mount Diablo is on the central axis of the Main Church's layout and framed in the picture window behind the altar. All members of the congregation have clear site lines to the altar and thereby develop a connectedness to one another and the celebrant.
The building is distinguished by a dominant roof form covered by flat, red clay tile, with a copper-sheathed north-facing light scoop and tall concrete arch topped by the cross. The arch descends vertically through the building, firmly anchoring the Church into the ground. In this manner, visually, the arch also serves as a symbolic tie between the earth and the cross. The light scoop above, or clerestory, balances the natural light entering from the picture window below and serves to highlight the celebrant at the altar.
A large, original bronze sculpture of St. Joan of Arc was commissioned of, and executed by, Heloise Crista of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and is placed prominently within the Main Entry courtyard to the church.
Catholic Diocese of Oakland