Molten glass and marble for a Chile temple. Variations in light and shadow create a surreal rotating movement - DesignOnWeb
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada announced Hariri Pontarini Architects as the winner of the international RAIC 2019 award, an award won courtesy of the Baha'i temple project in Santiago, Chile. The temple was designed to be a meeting place and when it opened in 2016, it attracted 1.4 million visitors.
The Baha'i Temple in South America is designed to be a meeting place and occupies an important place in the Chilean community, hosting community clubs, youth outreach programs, and children's activities in collaboration with public schools.
The jury declared the result of the project as timeless, a building that uses a language of space and light, form and materials to express an interpretation of Baha'i philosophy and teaching that becomes universally accessible as a shared spiritual and emotional experience. "The architects work out an exciting project with a powerful form that creates a new landmark in a dramatic natural environment," the jury stated.
The nine graceful wings of the temple, bound by an "oculus" at the top, consist of an outer layer of molten glass panels and an inner layer of translucent marble from Portugal. The invention of this new material required four years of experimentation and collaboration with a Canadian glass craftsman. A mezzanine offers a space to seek solitude while remaining in contact with the community.
The curved lines of the wooden benches urge people to gather as part of a congregation; to sit next to each other in silent contemplation. The Temple was commissioned by the Bahá'í House of Justice and is the eighth and last continental temple for the Bahá'í Faith.
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