Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is a new $7.3-million Byzantine church that is modeled loosely on the Hagia Sophia and sits on a 20-acre site in Carmel, Ind. The design includes a 55-ft-dia. dome that was built and raised up from the ground, bronze doors weighing 600 pounds each as the grand entrance, and the ability to accommodate more than 600 worshipers.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Photo: © Shawn Hitchcock

The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church was the first Triad Byzantine-design church constructed since the Hagia Sophia, built more than 1,400 years ago.

There are no straight flat walls in the sanctuary. The walls and ceilings are all radiused. The plaster workers on this job were instrumental in bridging the gap of this unknown practice and training a new generation in the techniques of the art.

Key Players

Owner: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Carmel, Ind.
General Contractor: Shiel Sexton, Indianapolis
Design Firm: CJK Design Group, Los Angeles

The 50-ton golden dome was built on the ground, then raised into place by three massive cranes working together. Once the dome was in position, the plasterers, using old world cement plaster, worked off a shared platform with other trades to secure the dome.

The team reviewed every course and line of brick to ensure proper alignment throughout the accent bands that go all through the inside and outside of the church. Each piece of cast stone used to frame the building and windows, and every flashing and counter flashing was revised to ensure a tight façade so no water could get in.

With help from the steel fabricator, the team engineered every condition of brick support. This required the use of 3D modeling to locate the supports, which were difficult to identify on the site plans due to the building’s complex geometry.