New Delhi (India) – Lotus Temple

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Lotus Temple is located in New Delhi, the capital of India. Also known as Bahai House of Worship or Bahai Mashriqul-Adhkar Temple, the temple was able to see its full construction in 1986 and is one of the most visited place in the world. Lotus Temple places emphasis on the teachings of the Bahai faith believing in the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religions, and the Oneness of Mankind. Because of this, everyone is welcomed inside regardless of colors of religion. Thus, Lotus temple is defined as unique place of worship where there is no certain idol of a deity people pray to.

Lotus Temple’s beautiful appearance can not be ignored as significant factor to its attraction. Designed by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba, Lotus Temple is one of the best architectural marvels in modern times. Temple has nine sides, and they form by 27 marble petals. With a capacity of 2500 people, 40-meters high central prayer hall can be seen by entering nine different doors. The floor inside the central hall is also made of marble. These marbles come from Greece, specifically, Penteli Mountain. The entrance of the Lotus Temple is also very enchanting since you can see ponds and gardens when making your way to the gate of this temple. The total area of the place is 26 acres.

The interior dome is made of crisscrossing ribs and shells of intricate pattern. When viewed from inside, each layer of ribs and shells fades away as it rises. Some of the ribs come together radially and meet at a central hub. The radial beams emanating from the inner leaves also meet at the centre of the building. Between the radial beams and the top of the interior dome, there is a neoprene pad in order to allow lateral movement caused by the effects of temperature changes and wind.

 

“Architectural Blossoming of the Lotus,” The Baha’i House of Worship

 

 

 

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Mexico City – Museo Soumaya

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The Soumaya Museum is located in a former industrial zone dating from the 1940’s which today presents a very high commercial potential. The Soumaya Museum plays a key role in the reconversion of the area:  as a preeminent cultural program, it acts as an initiator in the transformation of the urban perception. Its avant-garde morphology and typology define a new paradigm in the history of Mexican and international architecture.

From the outside, the building is an organic and asymmetrical shape that is perceived differently by each visitor, while reflecting the diversity of the collection on the inside. Its heterogeneous collection is housed in a continuous exhibition space spread over six levels, representing approximately 60,000 ft². The building also includes an auditorium for 350 people, library, offices, a restaurant, a gift shop and a multi-purpose gathering lounge.

The shell of the building is constructed with 28 steel curved columns of different diameters, each with its own geometry and shape, offering the visitor a soft non-linear circulation all through the building. Located at each floor level, seven ring beams provide a system that braces the structure and guarantees its stability. The top floor is the most generous space of the museum; its roof is suspended from an impressive cantilever that allows natural daylight to flow in freely. In contrast, the building’s envelope is nearly opaque, offering little and scarce openings to the outside. This gesture can be interpreted as an intention to create a protected shelter for the art collection. The façade is made of hexagonal aluminum modules that optimize the preservation and durability of the entire building.

“The Museo Soumaya is an extraordinary structure rising up from the earth’s crust as a multi-dimensional icon,”  Raymund Ryan, 
Curator, 
The Heinz Architectural Center.