Praise the Lord Through the Small Church Temple


Be transported on an Odyssey viewing of some of our projects of Small Church Temples – Dedicated to the Glory of God. These efforts are emblematic of the incredible faith , efforts and tireless work of the good and dedicated people of Parishes creating a legacy – past, present and future for the ages to come.
Please click this link embark on your journey:

Warmest Regards to you and yours – for a
Blessed Celebration of Christmas !

Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church of Metro Chicago…

St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, in Elgin Illinois, as the project moves forward toward construction in Spring. We will keep you posted on its progress. Attached is a beautiful poster, as well as a video, that shows the spirit of this incredible Church Temple, dedicated to the glory of God by CJK DESIGN, based upon it’s AXIOS prototype. Working with a great leadership team, the Parish, which has risen to the occasion and is very excited about moving forward!

Link to video is here



Creating Heaven on Earth

In the studio of CJK Design, we work in the creation of transformative buildings, as well as the development of Sacred Space, which is related to artifacts and Iconography.

The goal within earthly budgets is to create Heaven on Earth.

We have developed a short presentation of some of our projects that beyond their beauty have become landmarks, are extraordinary, and have been implemented within ordinary reasonable budgets. We, as architects, are skilled in working with available resources and the client, as a team member, creating Heaven on Earth.

Experience and cherish this brief journey…… of beauty and illumination.

Link to our presentation on the Iconic Dome Crown.

St Sophia ,Greek Orthodox Church Elgin,Illinois …Targeted for Construction in Early Spring

Great Parish ,Leadership and Vision leads toward the initiation of construction in early spring of 2018. We are proud to work with this community as architects creating the design and vision and working with them towards the successful realization of their dreams into reality. Please view the attached links for additional information and a fantastic video.

Christ J Kamages, FAIA ACL ,PrincipalDome Int

Panocrator in the dome

C Kamages

The architect on site…..

CJK Design Group

2 Commercial Blvd., Ste. 202

Bel Marin Keys

Novato , CA 94949

ph:  415-459-8677, ext.26

cell: 415-726-3047


Progress at the Heritage Center

The Alex and Faye Spanos Faith and Heritage Center is about 85% complete.  This great project was recently toured by during the recent Clergy-Laity conference attendees and the visitors were able to comprehend the vast potential and beauty of the unfinished space.


Tour in the entry lobby

Tour in the entry lobby.


The exterior recalls the existing red barn but also takes some colors form the hills and native environment.

2 tones of red with existing barn in the distance

2 tones of red with existing barn in the distance.


The Chapel is set to be decorated in September by the great Dr Kordis, his first commission on the west coast.  Custom wood furnishings are on their way from Crete.


View towards the st Photini chapel.  Shows future mural work and iconography by Dr Kordis plus some of the furnishings.

View towards the st Photini chapel. Shows future mural work and iconography by Dr Kordis plus some of the furnishings.


Chapel before painting , columns and iconography.

Chapel before painting , columns and iconography.


Stay tuned for more progress and grand opening dates.  Visit the Heritage Center Facebook page

Christ Kamages Elevated to AIA Fellow

On January 30th the 2015 Jury of Fellows from the American Institute of Architects provided public notice that Christ J Kamages, AIA, Principal of CJK DESIGN GROUP in San Rafael, was elected to the College of Fellows.  This is a great honor and distinction in recognition of Christ’s over 33 years of multi-faceted Service, dedication, creativity and excellence in the field and profession of Architecture.

You can read his official submission to the College of Fellows here

Dormition of the Panagia Chapel  - Ascension GOC Oakland

Dormition of the Panagia Chapel – Ascension GOC Oakland

St Demetrios GOC - Saco ME

St Demetrios GOC – Saco ME

In his practice, Christ has been able to merge the many elements of a user-based systems approach and ancient, historic sacred spaces to address the modern realities of budgets, sustainability, adaptability and flexibility to create buildings that meet the myriad needs of faith communities.

St Sophia Valley Forge, PA

St Sophia Valley Forge, PA

Holy Trinity GOC Carmel, IN

Holy Trinity GOC Carmel, IN

As well as helming his practice, he has been active through the years in writing, lecturing and mentoring.  One of his greatest strengths is his ability to educate, communicate and inspire the many groups involved with a project.  This creative and holistic thinking and the practical application of that spirit and energy is what has drawn attention to and distinguished him among his peers.

St Andrew Antiochian OC - Riverside, CA

St Andrew Antiochian OC – Riverside, CA

Monastery of the Holy Theotokos the Life Giving Spring - Dunlap, CA

Monastery of the Holy Theotokos the Life Giving Spring – Dunlap, CA


Christ Kamages, with his National practice focused on Faith-Based communities and unique project development, is honored to be elevated to the College of Fellows.

You can read his official submission to the College of Fellows here


Established in 1857, the American Institute of Architects is a professional association made up of Architects and a related field, which seeks to “promote the scientific and practical perfection of its members” and “elevate the standing of the profession.”  Through the AIA, standards of ethics and business practice have been developed and members hold each other up to maintain the highest standards.  Each year, the AIA selects Architects from its membership to be elevated to the status of Fellow.  Fellowship is one of the highest honors the AIA can bestow upon a member. Elevation to Fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual but also elevates before the public and the profession those architects who have made significant contributions to architecture and to society.

To become a Fellow one must first be nominated and then the nominee must put together an application including a portfolio of work.  This Application should demonstrate how the applicant has served the Profession of Architecture and the Community at large through his or her work.  Out of the thousands of applicants, 147 have been elevated this year.  Out of a total AIA membership of over 85,000 there are just 3,200 members distinguished with this honor.

On Friday May 15, the 2015 Fellows will be honored at an investiture ceremony at the AIA Convention 2015 in Atlanta.  The Ceremony will be held at the historic Ebeneezer Baptist Church.


Christ Kamages to be Honored by the Elios Society

Christ J. Kamages

Christ J. Kamages

Christ Kamages is to receive an Award of Excellence from the Elios Charitable Foundation this coming February at the Folk Dance & Choral Festival (FDF) in Anaheim. The award is in recognition for Christ’s distinguished professional record, service to Elios and promotion of Greek Faith and Heritage. With the award comes a donation to FDF in his honor.  Christ’s wife Pat, son Peter, and daughter Keri have all danced for the Nativity of Christ Minoan Dancers in the international FDF competition. This year, their grandchildren Alexis, Eleni & Katia will also participate. Christ is excited that this award money will go to support such a valuable cultural resource that many families, including his family, connects to and enjoys; one augmented and magnified by Metropolitan Anthony of Blessed Memory, unmatched in the International Greek Cultural Arena!

For more information about the Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival and this year’s event click here.

Giving the award, the Elios Charitable Foundation is a non-profit founded in 1997 to preserve and promote the spirit, values and ideals of Hellenic culture and heritage for the benefit of our youth and the Greek American community through a process of mutual enlightenment and fellowship. They have organized a number of charitable events including the annual Hellenic Charity Ball which honors Greeks in the Arts industry who make a difference in the culture and recognition of Hellenic contributions to society. All gifts to this organization are tax deductible.This year the foundation is making a  generous grant to the FDF.

All of their honorees are dedicated and successful in their own endeavors and have a demonstrated track record of being committed to preserving and passing on the values and ideals of the Greek heritage to the next generation.

For more information about the Elios Charitable Foundation click Here.

Working directly with community to develop his designs.

Working directly with the community to develop consensus is as important as design.

Christ Kamages has had overwhelming success in working with hundreds of Orthodox communities to inspire them with his passion for a rebirth of the true Eastern Byzantine spirit where traditional church sacred space is essential and vital to community life. He has gone on to develop unique church temple designs such as the Axios, an expandable prototype for growing mission parishes, and the copyrighted Triad, which uses Byzantine architectural principles while optimizing the seating capacity, sight lines, and programmatic functions of the an Orthodox Church.

Model of a Byzantine Church.

a Preliminary concept Model of a Byzantine Church.

In addition to his Professional life, Christ has served as Chairman of the Board of the Patriarchal Athenagoras Institute (PAOI) for 12 years, the Councils of the Metropolis and Diocese of San Francisco as well as the Archdiocese Council. He is a founding member of the ELIOS Society and the Pan Cretan Chapter of Polirinia of Marin California. In a moving ceremony in Constantinople in 2000, Patriarch Bartholomew inducted Kamages as an Archon Architekton (the first in history to bear this title) as recognition of his efforts in Ecclesiastical architecture, a befitting title for a person who has been designing churches for almost 40 years. His National Church projects have become national landmarks and have consistently garnered awards and have stimulated communication, spirit and awareness.


Christ inToronto- a renovation work.

Christ in Toronto- a renovation work.

Christ with his  late mother.

Christ with his late mother.

Christ Kamages and Pat Kamages in Greece-2013

Christ Kamages and Pat Kamages in Greece-2013

Kamages Family Photo

Christ’s son and grandchildren.

Antonis- Kamages Family.

Antonis- Kamages Family.















Christ and his wife, Patricia, reside in Lucas Valley, Marin, California and are active members of the Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church in Ignacio, California.  They are proud parents to Keri and Peter and beaming grandparents of Nikolas and Alexis Kamages, and Eleni and Katia Antonis. For full biography of Christ J. Kamages click here.

2013 A Year of Many Thanks

This Year has seen CJK Design Group and CJK Sacred Space work with many groups across America.  Our diverse skills allow us to assist these and many more Parishes.  We hope you find these examples of faithfulness edifying.  We look forward to continuing our work in 2014. 

Happy New Year from CJK Design and CJK Sacred Space!

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral – Atlanta, Georgia CJK is working with Father Paul Kaplanis and the Cathedral to create a much-needed new dome roofing and exterior paint/coating approach that, beyond moisture and weather protection, would complement and enhance the Majesty & Beauty of the Cathedral. The paint coating is called Keim which is a Germanic Mineral and Silicate coating used in Europe since the late 1800’s for interior and exterior finishing and moisture protection.  The material for the Great Dome and Apse will be a high-tech Millennium-type stainless steel which not only has a radiance and beauty but also would have a 200 year Life.

CJK's rendering of new colors and Millennium steel dome for Annunciation Cathedral.

CJK's rendering of the new  Annunciation Cathedral's Elevation with  Millenium Steel Dome

Coating /Painting is in process and the dome roofing is currently out to bid.

Powerwash and Sample Paint in progress at Annunciation CathedralPowerwash and Sample Paint in progress at Annunciation Cathedral.


St Catherine GOC – Braintree, Massachusetts While we completed this Landmark church 4 years ago, the interior decoration/ artifacts and iconography by Dr. George Kordis has been conceived in a phased manner. Phase 1 iconography was completed mid-November and the artifacts program for the east end which is 90% complete with Carved Marble Artifacts imported from Kalamata Greece, will be completed in February.

West facade of St Catherine in metro Boston.

George Kordis works on the Iconography for St. Catherine Braintree's Dome

Completed Iconography in St. Catherine Braintree dome.

Iconography in St. Catherine Braintree.

St. Catherine Braintree - Interior with completed Iconography.


St. Catherine in Braintree, MA with new marble Templon and Iconography by Dr. Kordis

Detail of the marble carvings for St. Catherine Braintree.


Holy Trinity GOC – Carmel, Indiana Located in the prominent suburb of Metro Indianapolis, the first phase of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church was completed 4 1/2 years ago.  The iconography is a phased program with the first phase just completed this past spring by Dr. George Kordis from Athens. This church is the largest CJK Triad Prototype in the world and has a magnificent dome with unique geometric components that, while traditional, historically had never been composed together in the manner assembled here in Carmel. The work by Dr. Kordis is stunning and complements and enhances the unique architectural composition, its incredible surfaces and opportunities.  Other phases are projected within the next few years as well as a decorative floor and Special Axios Type Chairs and Lighting Elements.   Holy Trinity Masterpiece

Exterior view of Holy Trinity Carmel.

George Kordis' team  working on Iconography in March of 2013


Scaffolding for Iconography at Holy Trinity Carmel


Completed Iconography at Holy Trinity Carmel

Hand-carved Iconscreen at Holy Trinity Carmel.


Holy Trinity in Carmel with recent iconography by Dr Kordis

Holy Trinity GOC – Columbia, South Carolina Located in the state capital of South Carolina, Home of the University of South Carolina and prominently located on Main Street across from the Bank of America Tower, this Landmark is a few blocks away from the State Capital on a highly visible site.  The church was completed 2 1/2  years ago and the Parish continues on their phased Iconographic Program, which is into third phase, through an International Search the Church selected Dr. George Kordis  to implement its Iconographic program which was the first such project in the USA for Dr. Kordis.  CJK is designing and providing the custom Interior Artifacts and Furnishings – from the Floor Medallions to the hand-carved Icon Screen. The plan, as it stands now, is for the eastern zone to be all Greek-carved marble with the western (Narthex) Zone in white oak carved in Hania, Crete by the studios of Steve Kavroulakis.

The Entry Platea (or plaza) in front of the new Church

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in

View over the New Temple in Columbia

A projection of what the new Iconscreen at Holy Trinity Columbia might look like this coming year.


CJK's Rendering studies of  Holy Trinity Columbia's Artifacts.

Rendering study for Holy Trinity Columbia's Fernishings.

Exterior of Holy Trinity against the night time city scape.

Metropolis of San Francisco Alex & Faye Spanos Heritage Center, Dunlap, California The building is conceived as a “California Basilica” with exposed heavy timber construction which references Athonite and Rural connections. The center houses a new office center and gracious multipurpose spaces for meetings, galleries/ displays and a Domed Chapel dedicated to St Photini. The interior space of the center has a main Stoa, display and gathering spaces that will have frescoes of the history and development of the Metropolis and Orthodoxy in the West culminating with magnificent Byzantine frescoes in the Chapel of St Photini.  The new Heritage Center is made possible by many who are dedicated to the fulfillment of the Vision of Metropolitan Anthony of Blessed Memory.  This project has been approved through the protracted, laborious and extensive process of the County of Fresno. We are currently in the final pricing and bidding stage.  Construction is projected to begin in March of 2014.

Ground breaking ceremony in Dunlap for Faith & Heritage Center

Ground Breaking and dedication for Faith & Heritage Center.

Cjk's Exterior Rendering for Faith & Heritage Center

The future Faith and Heritage Center.


CJK's rendering of Faith& Heritage Center Interior.

Rendering of Faith & Heritage Center Chapel.

St Luke OC – Erie, Colorado  Located on the Front Range of the Rockies between Denver and Boulder is the growing town of the Erie Colorado where the faithful parish of St Luke had  the vision to purchase an 8 acre site right on the main road into the town.  In Pentecost 2010 they completed Phase 1 of a Multi-Phase project. The Initial Phase consists of a Church Temple and Multi-purpose hall/support building.  The entire site is designed to accommodate multiple phases which would reflect and respond to the growth of the parish.  A major portion of the interior Iconography has been completed by Archbishop Gregory of Colorado and is an ongoing, coordinated, phased program.  This project was developed through dynamic leadership whose vision was, rather than build a Church-Hall that was multi-purpose, in their wisdom with CJK’s technical and systems prowess, built the requisite support space as well as a separate Church Temple within the designated and limited budget.  St Luke is becoming the Beacon of the region and this past October, the Parish consecrated their temple in a joyful ceremony on September 28, 2013.

Front View of St. Luke.

St. Luke and the surrounding site.

Iconography in the dome of St. Luke.

St. Luke Colorado- Interior.

A Beacon on the Front Range

St. Luke in its surrounding site -2013.

St Catherine GOC – Greenwood Village, Colorado CJK has been working with Father Lou Christopulos and the leadership of St Catherine to develop overall vision plan.  The plan is focused upon the Church, which had its Thyranoixia in June of 1990, and provides a transformation of the interior and exterior while creating a path for its completion in the most gracious and beautiful manner possible with quality and economic, prudence and vigilance. The plan provides interior and exterior enhancements that will transform this Temple and direct it towards vision that was intended with the great efforts & sacrifice of the parish.  Now the time has come to fulfill the Vision, dedicated to the Glory of God.

St. Catherine Greenwood Village- Existing Building.

St. Catherine Greenwood Village- section through building.

Proposed new Iconcscreen in section view of St. Catherine Greenwood Village

St. Catherine Greenwood Village Proposal for new tower and chapel addition.

Exterior rendering of proposed colors and materials for St. Catherine Greenwood Village.

It is the Goal that the First phase of the work will be accomplished to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Parish.

St George AOC – Fishers, Indiana  CJK has worked with Fr. Nabil and the Parish in Metro Indianapolis for many years developing a vision with the Leadership that accommodates their current and future needs in a phased approach.  Working with the requirements of the Parish, the Town of Fishers and the budget, the project has become a beacon of “Green” building techniques.  Lighting is mostly LED and the mechanical systems maximize efficiency.  The Structure utilizes ICF construction (concrete filled foam blocks) with hollow core plank flooring in the nave which allows for the underside of the Temple to accommodate a meeting hall, kitchen and classrooms.  The Upper level also houses the administration office in addition to the Byzantine temple as well as a magnificent bell tower. The dome was fabricated on the ground and lifted in place during a celebratory service last December.  The dome is made of Millennium stainless steel and has a gold finish that could last for over 200 years.  Future phases will have additional classrooms, library, large hall, full size kitchen, library and chapel.  See more about this at Raising Golden Domes In America’s Heartland

St George AOC - Recently Occupied

The foundations of phase 1 were laid towards the end of last year and, with incredible speed and quality, the Parish celebrated their first Liturgy in the space this past November.  As astounding as that is, the Parish topped it by having Dr. Kordis paint some of his most breathtaking icons while in construction.  Together with Holy Trinity in Carmel, you can see a great cross-section of Dr. Kordis’ work in one area.  David Mouck and his crew never compromised quality for the sake of the budget or time and have created a temple that will be a true Landmark for the ages to come. A future post will document this great project and the team that made it happen.

Fr Nabil leads Liturgy in the new temple.

St. George Dome- recently completed iconography.


The West facade of the new Byzantine Temple with Bell Tower


A Freezing Day in Indy, but thanks to the ICF technology, the building stays warm and dry with little HVAC assistance.


St. George AOC- light coming into the dome.


Even with a wide angle lens, you cannot capture the beauty of the rhythm, color and light of the new temple.


Ss Constantine & Helen GOC – Silver Spring, Maryland With over two years of design and permitting, the site work has finally begun on this incredibly beautiful, well-located site in Silver Spring, Maryland.  The parish, having moved from its downtown DC location on 16th Street, has a site with beauty and character and room for expansion and activities.  The new Parish home will be a village of hope and Orthodoxy in suburban DC.  We will be updating everyone on this blog as this exciting LEED-certified project progresses.  Activities have moved in a very brisk manner and now, with the leadership of the newly appointed parish priest Father Michael Eaccarino, fantastic energies and progress are flowing. For now, site work progresses, enjoy some renderings of the new buildings.

Ground Breaking at Ss. Constantine & Helen this past November.

Bishop Adonis and local officials at Groundbreaking of Ss. Constantine & Helen.

CJK's rendering of the future St. Constantine & Helen Church.

Ss. Constantine & Helen

Ss Constantine & Helen Interior rendering


Rendering of exterior of Ss. Constantine & Helen.
Rendering of exterior of Ss. Constantine & Helen.

        St Demetrios GOC – Tucson, Arizona CJK was selected over 3 years ago in a National search for the design firm that understood the Orthodox ethos and blending of Byzantine / Sonoran Desert architecture.  We are working with the parish to create a new home which will express both of these important traditions. A devastating tragic fire has accelerated the schedule and activities of the parish. While we have started our initial studies, the project will be moving forward in full force in early February.

Masterplan in Progress

SS Sophia GOC – Valley Forge, Pennsylvania,  The project in Valley Forge consisted of a total vision of a new church temple, a multi-purpose classroom gathering office facility as a link for bridge building and the renovation of the listing multipurpose hall. The Church Temple was completed for Paschal 2012, complete with phase 1 Iconography, marble floors.  Beyond the architecture of the complex, CJK was retained to design and coordinate the iconography, furnishings and artifacts of the project which included the artifacts for the altar area for the east zone for the project (including the Pulpit, the Throne, the Chanters area, the Icon Screen and the Altar or Holy Table).  The CJK design was carved and fabricated in Hania Crete in the Studio of Steve Kavroulakis.

Process of carving and installing the new Iconscreen at St. Sophia Valley Forge.

Completed furnishings at St. Sophia Valley Forge

Completed hand carved Iconscreen at St. Sophia Valley Forge.

2013 Christmas celebration at St. Sophia Valley Forge.

This year, the Award-winning project saw Horst Construction receive the excellence in construction Award of Merit for institutional projects from ABC Keystone.  Also taking two awards for the project were Paramount Construction for their metal framing and interior finishing, with CJK also picking up a First Place award from ATAS Intl. for Project of the Year in Commercial Metal Roofing.

St. Sophia domes gleaming in sunlight.

St. Sophia's domes at dusk.

Holy Trinity GOC – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania This Project started many years ago with CJK working with the Parish in selecting a site in the hilly country around Pittsburgh, PA.  This great city is home to Metropolitan Savas and the new home of Holy Trinity. The site is beautiful, located adjacent to the UMPC hospital and Laroche College (with its impressive convent) with easy access for the majority of the parishioners.  The site has its own beautiful views and scenic personality in a growing area.  The project consists of major site work, Church Temple, a Multipurpose Meeting, Classroom, Banquet /Meeting facility that is now used by the parish as well as the community.   This project is a very special due to the use of the site, the classically Byzantine Church and the magnificent Stoa looking out across the festival grounds.

Holy Trinity Pittsburgh Ground-breaking in 2011

Holy Trinity Ground Breaking and dedication in 2011- the journey's beginning.

Aerial Image of the Project (Oct 2012)

Fr John with Metropolitan Savas at the Thyranoixia

Metropolis of Pittsburgh Youth gathering with Metrapolitan Savas.

Metropolitan Savas gathering with the youth program in the newly completed Stoa of Holy Trinity Pittsburgh.


A view towards the East side of the Temple as set up for the Thyranoixia.  The white paper lanterns will glow in the evening.


Inspired by ancient precedent, CJK designed this floor medallion showing Peacocks drinking from the fountain of life

The new Holy Trinity "village" with the college in the distance.  Two landmarks on one corner.

The Parish chose to include iconography in the first phase of the interior of the church and had gone through a process where they had selected Dr. George Kordis.  This is the third CJK project to be completed by Dr. George Kordis & his Team.

Dr Kordis' iconography continues to be transformative.

"Lord, Lord look down from heaven and behold and visit this vineyard, which your right hand has planted"

Once Again, Happy New Year and we look forward to working with you this coming Year!