Church of the Transfiguration

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It was a rare project for a rare architect. The client, the Community of Jesus, wanted a modern interpretation of an early Christian church. The architect chosen, William Rawn, is a recovering lawyer who’d won big design prizes for low income housing in Charlestown’s Navy Yard and for Boston Symphony’s summer concert hall in the woods.

The Community of Jesus, an abbey in the Benedictine monastic tradition made up of families, priests and nuns, had outgrown its quaint New England chapel. But rather than dot the skyline with another steeple, this community had ideas of its own.

They wanted a big church, an accoustically perfect church and an early Christian church — like around 1,700 years ago. So William Rawn built the Church of the Transfiguration, a 55-foot high, stone basilica that seats 540 and rises off the shores of Cape Cod Bay. A community and its building, this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


William Rawn, architect of the Church of the Transfiguration.