The Flag Issue:Celebrating Scientology's New Spiritual Center
Elements of Design
The 62 sculptural pieces in the Flag Building’s Grand Atrium depict fundamentals of the Scientology religion. While they are rich in meaning for Scientologists, their universality speaks to any observer. The creation of the sculptures is a story in itself. Artists spent thousands of hours over the course of a year to produce them, using the centuries-old lost-wax technique. The process began with a full-size clay model, moved through 15 steps of rubber, wax and porcelain molds, and culminated in pouring molten bronze at 2,200 degrees. The two tons of bronze figures were then welded, sandblasted, polished and fired with hot wax that fused with the bronze to produce an eternal finish. Installing them in the Atrium required three months.
The Flag Building floors are comprised of some 70,000 square feet of travertine. Quarried in Italy, massive blocks of the material were first cut into slabs and then into 35,000 individual tiles, laid out and matched by hand to integrate in color and vein direction. Each was numbered, shipped and installed. Custom sections, including the central design in the Chapel floor (below), were fitted into the Flag Building by skilled artisans.