CUA freshmen Philip Goolkasian and Corey August were named the winners March 23 of a competition to conceptualize a design for the mosaic of the Trinity Dome in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Goolkasian, August and George Martin , associate professor of architecture and planning and chair of the competition, were interviewed by News Channel 8 yesterday about the competition. Click on the link below to watch video of the interview.

Basilica Temple Design Competition Winner Chosen

From: News Channel 8 Date: March 23, 2009WASHINGTON - One of the District's most historic churches, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate, will soon be getting a new look after a winner was announced in its design competition for area college students.

Architecture students at Catholic University have been spending the last two and a half weeks creating animation designs for the Basilica's Trinity Temple. Participants spent their spring breaks in the classroom, hoping to win a grand prize of $1,000 and the chance to be a part of history.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Roman Catholic church in North America. It contains more than seventy chapels and oratories, but there's still one temple left to finish.

Church leaders are looking to their neighbors for help, holding a design contest for Catholic University students. "It was open to all students at the university, graduate and undergraduate. Although this was an extracurricular activity, we had exceptional amounts of dedication, on top of all their course work," said associate professor George Martin.

Seven teams of students entered the contest and four were chosen as finalists. Judges looked for designs that combined classic designs with new forms of technology.

"Students took mosaic arts which is thousands of years old, and took it on with the use of digital tools seamlessly. It's really the use of very contemporary tools to undertake a very old art," said Martin.

Freshman Philip Goolkisiam and Kensington native Corey August impressed judges by creating a mosaic that met lighting and ventilation requirements. They were the only group to create an original song to go with their animation.

"We were the underdogs. We went up against grad students. No one expected us to win," said Goolkisiam.

It is the first time the Basilica has reached out to students for a temple design. While the winning scheme might not be identical to the final mosaic, Basilica officials say it will serve as inspiration when they get to work on the project later in 2009.