Papua New Guinea: House of Worship takes shape

November 20, 2020
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A virtual rendering of the design for the national Bahá’í House of Worship of Papua New Guinea (left) compared with recent progress on the structure (right). An intricate steel structure for the central edifice traces the unique weaving pattern of the exterior.

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — Coming into view from all directions as one approaches the Waigani area of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, is the rising structure of the Bahá’í House of Worship currently under construction. Once completed, the House of Worship will act as a focal point for devotion and service to society, open to people from all backgrounds.

“In Papua New Guinea, where there are more than 800 languages and as many tribes, the House of Worship represents unity for all the people of the country,” says Confucius Ikoirere, Secretary of the country’s Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly. “The design of the temple, which is based on traditional weaving patterns, is itself symbolic of unity. This art form is found everywhere in the country, from baskets created for special occasions or use in everyday life to matts woven for family and friends. Weaving calls to mind how we come together among our diverse backgrounds and customs.”

The rising structure of the Bahá’í House of Worship comes into view from all directions as one approaches the Waigani area of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Slideshow
10 images
The rising structure of the Bahá’í House of Worship comes into view from all directions as one approaches the Waigani area of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Since the foundations of the House of Worship were completed last December, work has progressed on an intricate steel structure for the central edifice that traces the unique weaving pattern of the exterior. An innovative design for the steel dome, devised by Werkstudio, an engineering firm based in Germany and Poland, provides the required strength with an economical use of material.

Since the foundations of the House of Worship were completed last December, work has progressed on the intricate steel structure for the central edifice. Slideshow
10 images
Since the foundations of the House of Worship were completed last December, work has progressed on the intricate steel structure for the central edifice.

The structural system interfaces with the nine entrance canopies that provide lateral strength to the temple. This system, parts of which are nearing completion, will eventually support a steel dome mesh that will at its apex reach a height of approximately 16 meters above floor level.

The structural system will eventually support a steel dome mesh that will at its apex reach a height of approximately 16 meters above floor level. Slideshow
10 images
The structural system will eventually support a steel dome mesh that will at its apex reach a height of approximately 16 meters above floor level.

Designs are being finalized for wood panels that will adorn the entrances of the temple, using local timber. Planning is also under way for gardens that will surround the central edifice.

Mr. Ikoirere says, “The House of Worship will provide an environment where people will find solace and peace, to give time to their Creator and find inspiration to serve humanity.”

Parts of the structural system are nearing completion. Slideshow
10 images
Parts of the structural system are nearing completion.