An early model of the Baha'i House of Worship for the South American continent, simulating how it will appear at night. The Architectural Review wrote that it "should become a gentle and welcoming beacon to the whole of South America."
The beautiful location of the site of the Baha'i House of Worship for Chile, in the hills of Peñalolén, a "commune" within metropolitan Santiago, at the foot of the Andes.
A view of the site of the future Baha'i House of Worship for Chile. Suburbs of the city of Santiago can be seen in the valley below.
Excavation work is now under way to prepare for the creation of the House of Worship's foundations, which measure 30 meters in diameter. An important task before work began was to ensure the protection of listed endangered species on the land. Numerous species of rodents and reptiles, native to the region, were safely transported to another part of the site where they will not be affected by the work.
Excavation work under way to prepare for the creation of the House of Worship's foundations. This phase of the project is expected take some six months to complete.
The boundaries of the site, which will include the Baha'i House of Worship, have been marked out with posts and string. The building and grounds will cover some 10 hectares within a wider 50 hectare site. Work is commencing to prepare for the provision of underground utilities required for the House of Worship and its surrounding water gardens.
Architect Siamak Hariri points out the distinctive "wings" on an early model of the Baha'i House of Worship, for Santiago, Chile. Mr Hariri has described the design as a "glowing temple of light, inviting to people of all faiths."
A conceptual drawing of the Baha'i House of Worship for South America. The design "acknowledges blossom, fruit, vegetable and the human heart" wrote the Canadian art critic, Gary Michael Dault, "but rests somewhere between such readings, gathering them up and transforming them into an architectural scheme that is, simultaneously, both engagingly familiar and brilliantly original."
A conceptual drawing depicts a view from above of the design of the Baha'i House of Worship for South America. Nature was a major reference point for the design. "We wanted to capture the magic of looking under a canopy of trees in full daylight and at night," says architect Siamak Hariri.
An interior view of an early model of the Baha'i House of Worship for South America, in Santiago, Chile.
Santiago, the capital of Chile, is the site for the first Baha'i House of Worship on the South American continent.
The first Baha'i House of Worship was completed in 1908 in Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan, home to a large, early Baha'i community. The House of Worship itself was surrounded by gardens, at the corners of which were facilities for social welfare including a school, a hostel, and a small hospital. The House of Worship was expropriated by the Soviet authorities in 1928 and leased back to the Baha'is. Ten years later, it was confiscated completely. It was demolished in 1963 after suffering serious damage in an earthquake 15 years earlier.
The oldest surviving Baha'i House of Worship stands on the shores of Lake Michigan at Wilmette, Illinois, U.S.A. Work began in 1921, and it was finally completed in 1953. In 1978, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
The Baha'i House of Worship for the African continent is located on Kikaya Hill on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. It was dedicated on January 13, 1961.
The Baha'i House of Worship in Sydney, Australia was dedicated on September 17, 1961. The property is set amidst natural bushland in Ingleside, a northern suburb of Sydney, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The first Baha'i House of Worship in Europe is located at the foot of Germany's Taunus mountains, in the village of Langenhain, in the Frankfurt suburb of Hofheim, Hesse. Made of steel, aluminium, and glass, it was dedicated in 1964.
The Baha'i House of Worship in Panama City, Panama, is located on a high cliff, "Singing Hill," overlooking the city. It is constructed of local stone laid in a pattern reminiscent of Native American fabric designs. It was completed in 1972.
The Baha'i House of Worship in Tiapapata, near Apia, Samoa, was dedicated by Malietoa Tanumafili II, King of Samoa (1913-2007), who was the first reigning Baha'i monarch. It opened in 1984.
Dedicated in 1986, the spectacular Baha'i House of Worship in New Delhi, India is one of the most visited buildings in the world, receiving an average of 4.3 million visitors per year. It has won numerous architectural awards. Inspired by the lotus flower, its design is composed of 27 free-standing marble clad "petals."