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St. Leon Cathedral of the Western Dioceses, Burbank, Calif.

st leonAs the headquarters of the Western Dioceses of the Armenian Church of North America, the St. Leon Cathedral of the Western Dioceses in Burbank, Calif., was an important project for an entire cultural community. The cathedral represents California's Armenian community that has more than 100 years of history tied into developing a life and cultural identity in the United States. One of the earliest Armenian communities sprang up in Fresno around 1871. With more than a century's worth of history and belief, any new religious establishment needed to reflect the history as well as the current state of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

St. Leon continues to mixes the modern and traditional. The church was consecrated in 2010 and the building's interior reflects the faith of the community in the numerous stained glass windows and icons within the cathedral. Like many parishes, the Armenian Apostolic Church offers parishioners bible study, sacraments, Sunday services, and Saturday or Sunday school for children.

Kaaren Khoudikian, with 2K Forum Inc., designed the church by combining elements of Armenian and American culture. The base of the church is built with stone imported from Armenia, symbolizing the tradition of the Armenian church and its people. The upper portion of the church utilizes modern materials, such as metal. ATAS International Inc. supplied its 0.032-inch Dutch Seam (MRD150) metal roof panels in Coppertone for the project.

Khoudikian notes, "The symbolic meaning … is that even though we as people are old and traditional, we are also modern people, as well." In addition to its aesthetic effects, Khoudikian explains that metal was also chosen for its weatherability, watertightness, durability and strength.

St. Leon Cathedral of the Western Dioceses, Burbank, Calif.

Architect: 2K Forum Inc., Glendale, Calif.

Installer: Cal Pac Sheet Metal, Santa Ana, Calif.

Distributor: Blue Diamond Supply, Grand Terrace, Calif.

Metal roof panels: ATAS International Inc., Allentown, Pa., www.atas.com