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Christ the King Chapel – Christendom College

In early 2021 Rugo was contacted to assess the potential of restoring, modifying, and repairing a salvaged Gothic rear altar initially constructed in a parish church in North Hampton, MA, originally installed in the late 1880s. Rugo dismantled the altar, crated it, and delivered it to the Rugo shop in multiple trucks. Rugo quickly realized no drawings were created for the altar to identify piece numbers, no overall dimension strings, and no cavity set back dimensions.

Rugo consulted with the client about the lack of drawings and began a factory dry set and reconstruction of the altar so that the team could create accurate-as-built dimensions used later to install the altar to the footprint. From May 2021 to Winter 2023, Rugo carefully cleaned, repaired, repolished, and carved new missing elements in 3D and planer pieces. The team also replaced special onyx inlay colors and missing pure statuary marble elements and repolished all the columns. This conservation process engaged 8-10 Rugo craftsmen and our in-house engineer full-time to perform meticulous conservation.

Once the rear altar was complete, our team moved on to perform the same “as-built” process and design modifications for other classically salvaged items such as the altar of sacrifice, the altar communion rail, a custom-designed Celtic cross, the holy water font, and four devotional chapels. Each of these additional furnishings required extensive time and care to modify, restore, and embellish for their new purpose.

Our mosaic studio created a new altar of sacrifice center panel mosaic and a 24-carat gold mosaic in the holy water basin. The Rugo team also fabricated three 3’-6” diameter waterjet cut medallions comprised of Red Jasper, Giallo Siena, and Fior Di Pesco marbles to symbolize the Wounds of Christ. These inlays were constructed with 1/32” seams and hand-selected bright Giallo Siena to symbolize the crown of thorns worn by Christ. Each piece was planed smooth and repolished to a glass-like surface.

Rugo also had the task of designing a unique cornerstone with a section of Georgia marble blessed by Pope Francis, as well as the creation of four dedication stones comprised of Georgia marble and four other marble colors used throughout the chapel.

The exterior Piazza and gathering space at the front entry features Gothic-inspired post caps, bench seats, and light pole bases, all cut in Rustic Buff Indiana limestone. Rugo fabricated the entry paving out of Jet Mist, Green County granite, and cubic steps in Stony Creek granite. In addition, Rugo provided two shades of custom-cut bluestone paving to create elegant patterns. The centerpiece of the Piazza is a full height 12’-6″ tall solid granite column of Sierra White made by Cold Spring, which will be the resting spot for the owner’s new bronze statue of Christ. On top of the column is a select buff Indiana limestone composite column capital hand carved in Rugo’s studio. The entire column section was cored with a 3″ through hole, and Rugo’s in-house PE designed a unique post-tension through rod for stable support.

Location: Front Royal, VA
Completion Date: 2023
Owner:  Christendom College
Architect: O’Brien & Keane
General Contractor: N/A
Size: N/A
Services Performed: Design Consultation, Restoration, Stone Sourcing, CNC Carving, Waterjet Fabrication & Installation.

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