Archangel Raphael Coptic Orthodox Church is a ground-up 12,225-square-foot, tilt-wall sanctuary with an office for the priest, restrooms and a cry room. The sanctuary holds 510 people and includes marble flooring, a barreled, standing-seam metal roof, fiberglass dome and traditional Coptic Orthodox wooden entry doors sourced from Egypt.
Many of the tilt wall panels were up to 235,000 pounds each and needed a hydro-crane to lift the panels. Why so heavy? The panels were large to create a more seamless aesthetic and they were laser cut to create decorative and tiered layers in the panels; these layers demanded a thicker therefore heavier panel. Decorative, oversized, thick layered panels made for a not-so-typical tilt wall construction. Take a tilt wall structure and put a barrel-vaulted ceiling on top. Then take that barrel vault and make it the shape of a cross. To top it off, add a fiberglass dome and Voila! The barrel vault roof was made in two large pieces that had to be welded together to form the correct radius and it had to be welded and built onsite, under the elements.
Archangel Raphael Coptic Orthodox Church is the only Coptic Church serving southeast Houston. That in combination with the construction methods and the aesthetic results of this church is award-worthy. Coptic Orthodox Church is the main Christian Church in Egypt. With a growing population in the United States, there are only four in the Houston area.
Houston, TX 77062