1. Damage to the former St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Oakland, California caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 gave rise to this new design
2. Designers modeled the cathedral entirely in 3-D, then in laser cut wood models.
Using software such as AutoCAD, Autodesk 3ds Max and others, the designers at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP created 3-D models of the cathedral before building even began.