A Bahá'í House of Worship popularly known as The Lotus Temple is located in New Delhi, India and was completed in 1986. Designed by a well-known architect, Fariborz Sahba (An Iranian and who now lives in Canada), a project on which he worked for 10 years as the architect and director of the works. The Lotus Temple is not only a symbol of excellence in modern Indian architecture but also one of the most visited religious buildings in the world. The form of this House of Worship takes the shape of the lotus, a flower considered sacred by most Indians. It is designed to reflect the simplicity, clarity, and freshness of the Baha'i Faith and to act as a symbol of the unity of mankind and religions. The Lotus Temple has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.
Architectural brief on the Bahá’í house of worship:
As designed by the Iranian, Fariborz Sahba, The structural design was then taken forward by the UK firm Flint and Neill. The construction company was ECC Construction Group of Larsen & Toubro Limited. The Temple is located on a 9.7-hectare site near Nehru Place. 27 free standing marble clad petals arranged in clusters of three to form sides makes the beautiful Lotus flower, the design for the House of Worship. A central hall slightly tall up to 45mts has 9doors can hold up to 2500people at a time. An addition to the beauty, the designers have used white marbles, which were brought in from Penteli mountain in Greece, the very same from which many ancient monuments and other Bahá'í Houses of Worship are built. The whole of the holy place is made within 26acres which includes its nine surrounding ponds and the gardens. The inner leaves, with a uniform thickness of two meters, rise to a height of 34.3 meters over the interior platform. At the lower level of each leaf, the maximum width is 14 meters.
The first things which were built were the basement and the podium inside to form the base, from there, to raise the arches and shells, the structure was divided into parts, sensing that after removing the framework the art will support itself and stand in place. The arches, then the interior dome and then access region for the visitors and the outer leaves were made. Intermediate external leaf was mounted over the firstly made two leaves of the entrance. From there, they alternated the rest of the leaves of the adjacent entrances and the exterior ones. As the concrete set, the formworks were removed and moved to the next set of leaves. The idea was to hide the exterior construction lines and then only in the inner interior panels, the construction joints were located above 24.8 meters.
The Canadian architect, Arthur Erickson, described it as “one of the most noteworthy achievements of our time, which demonstrates that the unity and vision of the spirit can make miracles".