The barrel roof and tower of Santa Sophia Catholic Church are icons of the Casa de Oroskyline in Spring Valley, California, just East of San Diego. After decades of baking under the golden sun however, the 130-square roof required replacement. Local roofing contractor, Commercial and Industrial Roofing stepped up to install the Windsor® polymer modified shingle atop the iconic church.
“The whole project only took a couple weeks, at 40 hours per week with four guys,” said Project Manager Mark Connelly.
It was a detailed effort for Connelly and his crew. During the week, when the roofing work was underway, the church was closed as the interior required complete coverage with visqueen plastic to mitigate dust and debris. On Fridays, the crew had to remove the visqueen and make sure the church was cleaned for weekend mass.
“It was a tough job,” said Connelly. Additionally, without a flat spot at the roof’s apex, “we had guys on ropes, so it was not a standard shingle job,” he added.
Barrel Roof Rooted in History
Architecturally, a barrel roof provides the shape for what is called a ‘barrel vault’ ceiling. This style carries a single curve along the expanse of the building. The history of this feature is significant, as it is seen in some of Europe’s most renowned houses of worship. Built between the 11th and 12th centuries, the church of Cluny Abbey in Eastern France, is one of the largest and most famous churches enclosed from above by a barrel vault. Later, barrel vaults were reintroduced in the Renaissance and Baroque styles, as seen in the prime example of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, where an astonishing barrel vault spans 89 ft.
In the modern era, stateside examples of barrel roofs and vaulted ceilings, can be seen in most notably at the 925 Building in Cleveland, Ohio and the Kahn Building at the Kimbell Art museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The latter, designed American architect Louis I. Kahn in 1972, it is widely regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era.
Holy Wisdom Prefers the Windsor® Shingle
In 1956 (the same year Malarkey Roofing Products was founded by the way), the Catholic Community of Santa Sophia was established by Bishop Charles F. Buddy, the first Bishop of San Diego. Three years later it was officially dedicated as a parish of Santa Sophia. The parish shares its title – and curved roof architectural inspiration with the Hagia Sophia (meaning “Holy Wisdom”), the stunning domed church erected by Roman Emperor Justinian in 538 A.D.
Our Windsor® shingles now humbly adorn the Southern California church. According to Connelly, Rev. Devdas Masillamonyis really happy with the look.
Previously, on this blog we’ve featured our Windsor® shingles on the roof of a grand home in Wisconsin, which was actually about squares larger than the roof on Santa Sophia. For more details on the exceptional qualities of the Windsor® shingle and more about what makes the Windsor a designer shingle, be sure to check out this post.