The bahai temple of chile is the symbol of bahai faith and spiritual center for prayer and meditation.
The Bahá’i Temple of South America, situated in a seismic zone on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, uses light for its spiritual and design inspiration.As most Baha’is know, one of the recent projects of the Baha’i world community is the building of another House of Worship (mashiq’u’adhkar) in Santiago Chile. As was the case in the other temples, it will be an impressive structure, meant more to be a “silent teacher” of the Baha’i Faith than a practical place of worship. The Baha’i Temple for South America, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, employs both translucent stone and innovative glass technology as the means of generating and manifesting both the physiological and spiritual delights of natural light embodied in architecture. Set against the stirring background of the Andean mountain range, the Temple is designed as a crystallizing of light-as-expression, an evanescent structure of white alabaster and glass: a place of pure luminescence. During the day, the soft undulating alabaster and glass skin of the Temple forms its outer expression. At night, the image reverses; the entire volume becomes a warm totalized glow, with the inner form of the building visible through the glass. The temples, Baha’i Houses of Worship are distinctive buildings, open to everyone, where visitors can simply pray and meditate in a serene atmosphere, or – at certain times – listen to the holy scriptures of the world’s religions being recited and sung. An integral concept of each House of Worship is that they will, in due course, provide a spiritual center around which agencies and institutions of social, humanitarian, and educational service will be established for the surrounding population.
Designing and construction history
This is the final continental Temple to be built. Designed through physical models in conjunction with state-of-the-art digital technology, the temple combines innovative engineering solutions, cutting-edge glass technology and computerized fabrication methods to create a light-filled space for prayer and meditation at once monumental and intimate. Nine identical wing-like shells spatially define the house of worship. Each is clad on its exterior with thousands of faceted custom glass panels and on its interior with computer-cut, translucent marble. The 1.5″ thick, sand cast glass panels, developed in a four year collaborative research process with Canadian artist Jeff Goodman, protect worshippers from harsh sun rays while bathing them in dappled light. A slim-profile structural steel frame, comprised of hundreds of individually engineered members and nodal connections, rests on a concrete substructure set on seismic isolation pads. The project, expected to be completed in 2016, has already received five architectural awards, including World Architecture News Best Building of the Year in 2010, and a Progressive Architecture Awards Citation in 2007.
The Significance of temple
As the first Baha’i Temple in South America, this project is a narrative of Baha’i’s history, as well as indigenous cultural continuity of the region. Located in the community of Penalolen, it stands as a poetic vision of light resting upon an intricate interlay of revealing and concealing. According to the Abjad system of Isopsephy, the word Baha’i has a numerical equivalence of nine. As a symbolic tribute to Baha’i faith, the temple is divided into nine sections with nine separate entrances. Innovative methods of design, combined with use of advanced technology have resulted in creation of a privileged landmark. “The project represents a rare convergence of forces that seem destined to produce a monument so unique to become a global landmark.”
Baha’i Houses of Worship
Baha’i Houses of Worship are distinctive buildings, open to everyone, where visitors can simply pray and meditate in a serene atmosphere, or – at certain times – listen to the holy scriptures of the world’s religions being recited and sung. An integral concept of each House of Worship is that they will, in due course, provide a spiritual center around which agencies and institutions of social, humanitarian, and educational service will be established for the surrounding population. When completed, the edifice in Santiago will be the eighth in a series of Baha’i Houses of Worship, and the final one to be erected to serve an entire continent. The seven others are in Australia, Germany, India, Panama, Uganda, the United States and Western Samoa.