Embassy of Chile celebrates the Baha’i Temple of South America

Embassy of Chile celebrates the Baha’i Temple of South America

Ottawa, 12 June 2018, (CBNS)

“It is not every day you have the chance to launch a book that takes us through a creative journey, the refining of a concept, how it turns it into a design and then into a building in the foothills of Santiago.” With those words, Ambassador Alejandro Marisio welcomed guests of the Embassy of Chile to his official residence in Ottawa, to celebrate the publication of a new book about the Baha’i Temple of South America. 

The book, titled “Embodied Light: The Baha’i Temple of South America” is published this year by the architectural press Birkhaüser. Laid out as a coffee table book, the volume features spectacular photographs of the Temple, technical drawings, and essays by Douglas Martin, Lisa Rochon, Sky Glabush, Rob Weinberg, and an interview with the architect, Siamak Hariri, by William Thorsell. It can be previewed hereand ordered here.

Since the House of Worship was officially dedicated in October 2016, it has been the recipient of countless architectural awards. Most recently, it was awarded the awards for “People’s Choice” and “Design Excellence” by the Ontario Association of Architects.

As the Ambassador remarked, the Baha’i Temple has become a landmark in Santiago. “With an impressive backdrop of the hills of the Andes,” he noted, “It has a commanding view of the city and many have made a visit to it a feature of their weekend escapades. It is a building that serves a community beyond the Baha’i faith.”

Ms. Karen McKye, Secretary-General of the Baha’i community of Canada, noted that since the dedication of the House of Worship it has hosted more than 900,000 people of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. All of these guests, she noted, “visited the Temple, bathed in its peace, prayed there to their Creator by whatever name they know Him, and sought ways to translate their love of God into concrete acts of service to humanity.”

The architect of the House of Worship, Siamak Hariri, shared the story of the design inspiration for the House of Worship, and its connection to the other eight continental Baha’i Houses of Worship. 

The Embassy also arranged a video message from the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Chile, who offered greetings to the event.

The joyful event was attended by close to sixty guests, including members of the Baha'i community, representatives from other religious groups and civil society organizations, local think tanks, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Government of Canada, and members of the Chilean community linked to the arts and architecture.