I have nothing against spending hundreds of millions of dollars on cathedrals. I just think they should be beautiful. This one will be interesting. I’m not so sure it will be beautiful. The design is too odd. The interior tries too hard to be majestic. It will probably come across simply as overwhelming and empty. And there’s going to be way too much use of cold, sterile-looking gray concrete. Apparently there will be almost no Christian art inside either.
I looked at the virtual tour and would, on the surface, tend to agree that it may be stretching a bit much...but if they are able to pull it off, it could potentially be one of the great Cathedrals (the question is, are they going to be able to pull it off?). I like the use of the vertical and the architect’s ideal of using light as one of the design elements. As to the concrete and steel, as well as the lack of Christian art, you should consider the National Shrine in DC...it continues to be a work in progress. As are most great churches.
With due respect, you are dead wrong about the majesty in the worship space. A properly designed worship space (i.e., the church building) serves two main purposes: it draws people in and draws their minds toward God as they worship. Secondly, through the artwork in that worship space (the stained glass, the icons, the statuary, even the altar), parents are given a tremendous opportunity to educate their children and learned people are provided an equally powerful opportunity to educate the ignorant and illiterate.
I know of no church building that is designed to be ugly (even the buildings from the 60s-70s “Church Ugly” period were intended to be beautiful in the eyes of the designers). That goes not only for the Catholics and the Orthodox, but for the vast majority of Protestants, as well. Most buildings, including many fundamentalist church buildings that I’ve been in, have tried to have a vertical structure, they are designed so that the congregants’ attention is drawn toward the front, and they attempt to make use of the best craftsmanship in construction that they possibly can. Yes, some do not have steeples (for theological reasons), some do not utilize organs, some make use of flowers more than others, and so on. But I know of very few, if any, that are intentionally designed to be ugly.
If you think about it, it is the scriptural way, too, btw. Consider the beauty of the Temple. And then consider the beauty of the New Jerusalem. Why in the world would we be called to abandon that in these few moments that separate the two?