Foundation laid for House of Worship in DRC as Kenya temple nears completion

February 28, 2021

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic Of The Congo — Recent weeks have seen steady progress in the construction of the two Bahá’í Houses of Worship in Africa.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, just eight weeks after the excavation for the foundations of the House of Worship were completed, the reinforced concrete slab that will form the floor of the central edifice has been finished. Work on additional buildings on the site is steadily advancing.

Meanwhile, over 3,000 kilometers away, the local House of Worship in Matunda Soy, Kenya, is entering the final stages of construction. The exterior of the temple is nearly complete, as are auxiliary structures on the grounds. Residents of the area are assisting to prepare the gardens around the temple, carrying out tasks with reverence as they regularly gather on the grounds for prayers.

The progress in the construction of both temples over the past few months is explored in the selection of images below.

Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo

A moisture barrier is laid across the entire floor area of the temple in preparation for building the reinforced concrete floor slab. Encircling the foundations, earthworks are being prepared for the ground immediately outside the central area.

A moisture barrier is laid across the entire floor area of the temple in preparation for building the reinforced concrete floor slab. Encircling the foundations, earthworks are being prepared for the ground immediately outside the central area.

The staff who have been working on the construction of the temple gathered Thursday on the newly completed floor slab to mark this key milestone in the project.

The staff who have been working on the construction of the temple gathered Thursday on the newly completed floor slab to mark this key milestone in the project.

A visitors’ center is also being built near the entrance to the site of the House of Worship in Kinshasa.

A visitors’ center is also being built near the entrance to the site of the House of Worship in Kinshasa.

Foundations for the visitors’ center have been built around trees already present on the site, preserving them to beautify the courtyard.

Foundations for the visitors’ center have been built around trees already present on the site, preserving them to beautify the courtyard.

Floor slabs for the visitors’ center are now being poured.

Floor slabs for the visitors’ center are now being poured.

Elsewhere on the site, several existing buildings are being renovated. One building, pictured here, is being used as a construction office. In the future, these buildings will be used as educational facilities and as offices for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Elsewhere on the site, several existing buildings are being renovated. One building, pictured here, is being used as a construction office. In the future, these buildings will be used as educational facilities and as offices for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Matunda Soy, Kenya

As the exterior of the local Bahá’í House of Worship in Matunda Soy, Kenya, nears completion, the elegant form of the temple’s design is becoming visible. The design is inspired by huts that are traditional to the region. Exposed roof beams highlight the nine sides of the edifice.

As the exterior of the local Bahá’í House of Worship in Matunda Soy, Kenya, nears completion, the elegant form of the temple’s design is becoming visible. The design is inspired by huts that are traditional to the region. Exposed roof beams highlight the nine sides of the edifice.

Skylights have been installed on all nine sides of the roof of the temple, and roof tiles are being placed, creating a diamond motif familiar to Kenyan culture.

Skylights have been installed on all nine sides of the roof of the temple, and roof tiles are being placed, creating a diamond motif familiar to Kenyan culture.

The interior and exterior of the temple’s nine doorways are being decorated with wood and paster. The latticework around each door is being prepared at a workshop in the Matunda Soy area and is made from mvule, a wood native to eastern Africa.

The interior and exterior of the temple’s nine doorways are being decorated with wood and paster. The latticework around each door is being prepared at a workshop in the Matunda Soy area and is made from mvule, a wood native to eastern Africa.

Construction of the reception center and other facilities on the site are nearly complete, and they will soon be prepared to welcome visitors to the temple site.

Construction of the reception center and other facilities on the site are nearly complete, and they will soon be prepared to welcome visitors to the temple site.

The main gate to the temple grounds nears completion.

The main gate to the temple grounds nears completion.

Local residents have played an important role in assisting with various tasks on the site, including with preparations for gardens that will surround the temple.

Local residents have played an important role in assisting with various tasks on the site, including with preparations for gardens that will surround the temple.

The residents of Matunda Soy, a farming community with generations of experience tending the land, have taken to the task of beautifying and maintaining the temple grounds with enthusiasm.

The residents of Matunda Soy, a farming community with generations of experience tending the land, have taken to the task of beautifying and maintaining the temple grounds with enthusiasm.