Nestled in the North Dallas suburb of Carrollton, TX, is Saint Sarkis Armenian Orthodox Church, honored as 2022 Building of the Year by World-Architects. Designed by David Hotson Architects and taking 10 years of planning and construction, the church reflects the traditions and heritage of Armenian culture. It was consecrated on April 23, 2022, and held its first Sunday service one day later, on April 24th -- the traditional day for commemorating the 1.5 million victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

At the heart of the church’s design is a beautiful mosaic floor, achieved through Artaic’s technical know-how. Lu Dubois, national account manager for the manufacturer of custom mosaics, worked closely with the architect on the innovative custom mosaic process. Together, they achieved his unique vision in one of the company’s most sustainable tile material -- the 100% post-consumer recycled Sintered Glass.

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design recently spoke with Dubois about her experiences of working on the project with David Hotson. Learn more about the design and fabrication process. 

CSTD: I understand the mosaic floor design was influenced by the longtime history and tradition of the Armenian Church. Did the architect come with the design already drawn or did the Artaic team work with him to develop the pattern?

LD: David Hotson worked with an artist to develop the art for the project. We then brought the artwork into our Tylist™ software to generate the renderings and ultimate fabrication of the mosaic. The software is used to accurately design and digitally manipulate mosaic imagery before fabrication. The software enables us to design and render artwork into mosaic form, while easily coordinating with our robotic manufacturing system. 

CSTD: Please take us through the process of creating the mosaics for this design.

LD: Conversations with David Hotson started about a year prior to order placement. This is pretty typical in the process flow. We reviewed our process and capabilities in these discussions. Once he had a design in mind, we began renderings to bring his vision forward into a mosaic for this space. Samples were sent of the tile types in the beginning and a custom sample for approval of a strike-off was sent before order placement. Many renderings were required to adjust the imagery in order to attain the exact detail the artist and architect envisioned. 

CSTD: How long did the entire process take?

LD: The first rendering was started in early August and the final design was approved in October. Due to the nature of the design and extreme details, it took a total of 12-plus hours of just specific design time. Many other hours were spent in dialogue about the renderings, colors, tile choices, etc. 

CSTD: What instructions were given to the installers to ensure each piece was put in the correct place?

LD: Artaic has a standard installation guide that provides detailed information for installation. Likewise, the mosaic is accompanied by a full printout of the mosaic with grid lines running vertically and horizontally that create 1-foot grids. Each grid is labeled with a location marker that corresponds with the pre-labeled 1-foot sheets of the mosaic. The installation team is always instructed to lay out the entire mosaic to get a full visual of the design and placement to allow for easy assembly and installation. 

CSTD: I understand Artaic’s 100% post-consumer recycled Sintered Glass product was chosen for this project. Was sustainability a priority from the start?

LD: Sustainability was an important aspect in the selection, as well as selecting an acceptable flooring material in a small-sized tile to provide the level of detail of the design.

CSTD: Is there anything about this project that is most memorable or stands apart from others you have worked on? 

LD: Working closely with David and his team was a joy. Their attention to detail and prompt responses made this a very smooth exchange of information and helped orchestrate a highly successful end product. They are extremely professional and talented, and they had an amazing vision for this design.