The Narthex is the gathering space just beyond the central entry vestibule in the upper church of the Basilica. The ceiling in this space had had never been embellished with mosaic in the original construction. So Rugo was contracted to design, assemble, and install a 24-carat gold mosaic ceiling. The mosaic design was simplistic and incomplete with surrounding art. Still, the degree of difficulty in installing an all gold tesserae field of the mosaic was very challenging, a task our distinguished artisans welcomed.
Rugo built a complete dust enclosure system to carefully remove the old gypsum plaster base, and float all-new Portland cement plaster to meet the exact curvature of the original ceiling. The new mosaic also included two concentric smaller domes and extended the side aisle ceiling decorative patterns.
Location: Washington, DC Completion: 1998 Owner: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Architect: Anthony J. Segreti, AIA General Contractor: Rugo Stone LLC
Size: 3,500 sqft Services: Design, assemble Venetian glass mosaic, install on new plaster basse