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The Bahá’í House of Worship of South America — the last of eight continental houses of worship commissioned by the Bahá’í community — is completed after a 13-year construction period.

Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, and nestled between the foothills of the Andes Mountains, just outside Santiago, the Bahá’í House of Worship boasts breathtaking views of the city below. With its curved shape consisting of nine torqued wings, the temple is a vision on its own – as likely to draw architectural as religious pilgrims. The design team’s challenge was to create a representation that would be welcoming to people of all faiths and cultures. A universal place of worship, the temple’s design incorporates elements of different faiths, such as the twirling skirts of Sufi dancers.

‘The aim was to achieve an interplay of contradictions: stillness and movement, simplicity and complexity, intimacy and monumentality; a solid structure capable of dissolving in light.‘ – Hariri Pontarini Architects

The exterior of the wings are clad in 1 129 cast-glass panels, which capture the changing colours of the surrounding landscape. The result is an ethereal, light-filled space that will inspire a sense of transcendence in even the most secular visitors.

For more information about this monumental structure and the community that built it visit templo.bahai.cl.

Watch the project story

Bahá’í Temple of South America from Hariri Pontarini Architects on Vimeo.

Photography Sebastián Wilson León; Guy Wenborne