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Peñalolén: The Latest Architecture and News

Casa Piedra Blanca / Pablo Lobos Pedrals, Angelo Petrucelli

© Pablo Casals Aguirre © Pablo Casals Aguirre © Pablo Casals Aguirre © Pablo Casals Aguirre + 15

Penalolen, Chile

House-Workshop for an Artist / Planmaestro

© Mathias Jacob © Mathias Jacob © Mathias Jacob © Mathias Jacob + 28

Peñalolén, Chile
  • Architects: Planmaestro
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 135.0 m2
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

Dunalastair School Gymnasium / Alejandro Dumay + Patricio Schmidt

© Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld + 20

Penalolen, Chile

Bahá’í Temple / Hariri Pontarini Architects

Courtesy of Asamblea Espiritual Nacional de los Bah·'Ìs de Chile + Hariri Pontarini Architects
Courtesy of Asamblea Espiritual Nacional de los Bah·'Ìs de Chile + Hariri Pontarini Architects

© Daniela Galdames © Daniela Galdames © Daniela Galdames © Daniela Galdames + 33

Penalolen, Chile

How Chile's Bahá'í Temple Uses High Technology to Create a Spiritual Space

Now nearing completion just outside Santiago, Hariri Pontarini Architects' Bahá'í Temple of South America is currently one of the most significant religious construction projects in the world. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Sacred Structure," Guy Horton relates how - despite being in progress for almost a decade already - the design has changed remarkably little from the initial design sketch, using the latest technology to create a spiritual and emotional space.

For the last few years, in the Andean foothills just outside Santiago, Chile, a mysterious orb-like structure has been slowly rising under construction cranes. The new Bahá’i Temple of South America will be the first of its kind on the continent when it opens in 2016. It has been a historic journey for the Bahá’i faith in this part of the world—Bahá’i first arrived in Chile in 1919—and a patient journey for the architects, engineers, and builders who have brought the temple to life through a decade-long process of innovation.

The engineering firms were key to keeping the integrity of the architectural form. Even in the final stages, Gartner Steel and Glass came up with a new approach that eliminated the sub-frame, saving over $850,000. Image Courtesy of Guy Wenborne It's been over a decade since the architects of South America's first Baha'i Temple sketched out its design. “The shape never changed from what it was on the computer in 2003,” says Doron Meinhard, project manager and associate-in-charge of Hariri Pontarini Architects. Image Courtesy of Guy Wenborne © Bahá’í Temple of South America The interior surface of the nine “sails” (above) is marble, the exterior is cast glass developed by artist Jeff Goodman. He took great care, using lab-grade borosilicate to avoid any thermal stress. SGH then put the material through rigorous testing: subjecting it to freeze and thaw cycles, and submerging it fully in water. Then, because the 2,000 panels on each of the sails are all unique, the seismic load on every single one had to be tested. Image Courtesy of Justin Ford + 8

Peñalolen Community Center / Gubbins Arquitectos, Polidura + Talhouk Arquitectos

© Aryeh Kornfeld © Aryeh Kornfeld © José Miranda Courtesy of Gubbins Arquitectos + 19

In Progress: Bahá’í Temple of South America / Hariri Pontarini Architects

  • Architects

  • Architect in Charge

    Siamak Hariri - Hariri Pontarini Architects
  • Local Architect

    BL Arquitectos
  • Client

    National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Chile, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada
  • General Contractor

    Desarrollo y Construcción del Templo Bahá'í para Sudamérica Ltda.
  • Area

    1200.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America

Nearly four years after the start of its construction, South America’s first Bahá’í temple is beginning to take shape. Designed by Canadian firm Hariri Pontarini Architects, the temple is being constructed at the foothills of the Andes in Santiago, Chile. The building is comprised of “nine translucent wings, rising directly from the ground, and giving the impression of floating over a large reflecting water pool,” describes the project’s website. Each wing is designed like a leaf, with a steel “main stem” and “secondary veins of steel” supporting its cast glass exterior. During the day, the cast glass will filter sunlight into the temple, while at night the temple’s interior lighting will produce a soft glow on the outside.

The structure’s steel columns are now fully self-supported on its concrete foundation, and the steel frames and interior marble panels of each of the nine wings have been completed. In October, the project reached an important milestone as the installation of the cast glass cladding began on the outside of the wings. 

Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America Courtesy of Bahá’í Temple of South America + 41