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Architects:FariborzSahba

Location:NewDelhi,India
Architect:FariborzSahba
References:FariborzSahba
ProjectYear:1986

Fromthearchitect.PopularlyknownastheLotusTemple,theBah'Houseof
WorshipinNewDelhi,IndiaisahouseofworshipthatwasdesignedbyIranian
architectFariborzSahbaandcompletedin1986.
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ThetempleisoneofeightBah'HouseofWorshipfacilitiesintheworldandhas
welcomedover70millionvisitorssinceitscompletion,makingitoneofthemost
frequentedarchitecturallandmarksintheworld.Fromadenominationalstandpoint,
theLotustempleisopentoallpractitionersregardlessofreligiousaffiliationand
functionsmoreasagatheringplaceofworshiptointerestedvisitors.
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Onfirstglance,therearenotablesimilaritiesbetweentheMotherTempleoftheIndian
subcontinentandJornUtzonsSydneyOperaHouseinkeepingwithBah'
scripture,theLotustempleisorganizedasaninesidedcircularstructurethatis
comprisedoftwentysevenleaves(marblecladfreestandingconcreteslabs),
organizedingroupsofthreeoneachofthetemplesninesides.Thestructureis
inspiredbythelotusflowerandisarguablyoneofthemostvisibleinstancesof
biomimicryincontemporaryarchitecture.
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Theaforementionedleavesareintegraltotheorganizationofthespaceandare
classifiedintothreecategories:entranceleaves,outerleaves,andinnerleaves.The
entranceleaves(nineintotal),demarcatetheentranceoneachoftheninesidesofthe
complex.Theouterleavesservesastherooftotheancillaryspaces,complementedby
theinnersleaveswhichformthemainworshipspace.Theseinnerleavesapproach,but
donotmeetatthetipoftheworshipspaceandarecappedwithadramaticglassand
steelskylight.
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ThetempleisconstructedprimarilyofconcreteandcladinGrecianmarble,resultingin
theLotusTemplespristinewhiteexteriorwhiletheinteriorofthestructureisrevealed
intrueExpressionistfashion,withtheprecastribbedroofexposedintheworship
spaces.
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PhotobyAdibRoyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/manunited/
Fundedalmostentirelybyprivatedonations,thestructureissitedonamagnificent26
acrelandscapeincludingnativevegationandaseriesofninepondssurroundingthe
temple.Appropriately,theLotusTempleandSahbahavebeentherecipientof
multipleinternationaldesignawards,includedanawardinexcellencefromthe
InstituationofStructuralEngineers(1987),aspecialcitationfromtheIlluminating
EngineeringSocietyofNorthAmerica(1988),designationasoneof100canonical
worksbytheArchitecturalSocietyofChina(2000),andanarchitectawardfromthe
GlobArtAcademyinVienna(2000).
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Withacapacityof2,500practitioners,thisseminalarchitecturalworkiswellequipped
tobeaglobalarchitecturalmasterpieceforyearstocome.

PhotobyFutoTussaudshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/38461777@N05/

Photobyclindstedthttp://www.flickr.com/photos/cu2nite/

PhotobyAdibRoyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/manunited/

Photobyviewfinderviewhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/viewfinderview/

Photobydinudeyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/dinudey/

PhotobyAdibRoyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/manunited/

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