The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has named the Baha’i House of Worship of South America winner of the Innovation in Architecture Award for 2017. One of the most important Canadian architectural awards, the announcement states:
“A luminous worship space designed and built with the creative use of computer modeling, measuring, and fabrication software, and custom glass, has won the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Innovation in Architecture Award for 2017."
“The Bahá’í Temple of South America, by Hariri Pontarini Architects of Toronto, is a domed structure set in the foothills of the Andes Mountains outside Santiago, Chile. Nine monumental veils frame an open worship space that expresses a faith of inclusion and accommodates up to 600 visitors.”
The “Backgrounder” of the RAIC describes the Temple further:
"Set in the foothills of the Andes, just beyond the metropolis of Santiago, Chile, the Bahá’í Temple of South America uses light for its spiritual and design inspiration. Fourteen years in the making, the house of worship represents the last of the eight continental temples commissioned by the Bahá’í community. The tenant of universality central to the Bahá’í faith mandated the aspiration of the architecture; a design welcoming to people of all faiths and cultures, or none at all, and recognizable as a house of worship without reference to specific iconography. The brief specified a nine-sided domed structure with nine entrances to symbolically welcome people from all directions of the earth."