Baha’i House of Worship in Chile wins award for “structural artistry”

Baha’i House of Worship in Chile wins award for “structural artistry”


The recently opened Baha’i House of Worship in Santiago, Chile, has been ranked among the best-engineered buildings in the world. The building received an award for “Structural Artistry” from the Institution of Structural Engineers (ISE). Based in Great Britain, the ISE has been recognizing excellence in structural engineering for 50 years.

The award citation noted the following:

Set on a hillside against the Andes Mountains, the Bahá’í Temple of South America welcomes worshipers from all directions through its nine entrances. The temple – which lets in light during the day and appears to glow in the evening – is comprised of nine wing-shaped, translucent petals of free-formed tubular steel space trusses, clad with cast glass on the exterior and marble on the interior. Constructed in a high-seismic zone with unique materials and structural systems, the temple's structural design employed performance-based design methods, extensive materials and structural testing, and seismic base isolation.

… The temple is an example of the ingenuity of a structural design team in responding to the challenges set by the architectural vision for the project. The engineering team have shown creativity in their approach to the concept, technical excellence in the analysis and design process, and subtlety in their detailing and execution of a complex structure in a seismic zone.

The Baha’i House of Worship in Chile is the second Baha’i temple to receive an award from the ISE. In 1987, the renowned “Lotus Temple” in New Delhi, India received The ISE’s “Special Award”.