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|1902 28 Nov
||Construction began on the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of `Ishqábád with the laying of its cornerstone. [BFA2:116-17]
BBRXXX says this was 12 December. The discrepancy may lie in the use of two different calendars.
The foundation stone was laid in the presence of General Subotich, governor-general of Turkistan. [BFA2:116–17; GPB300; see discussion of Krupatkin vs Subotich in The City of Love:
Ishqábád and the Institution of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár by Bruce Whitmore] Also see BBR442-443 for the account of a Russian official, A D Kalmykov who says it was General Subotich.
`Abdu'l-Bahá commissioned Hájí Mírzá Muhammad-Taqí, the Vakílu'd-Dawlih, son of Hájí Siyyid Muhammad, the uncle of the Báb for whom Bahá'u'lláh had revealed The Kitáb-i-Íqán, to be in charge of the project. [AB109]
`Abdu'l-Bahá Himself delineated the general design and a Russian architect, Volkov, planned and executed the details of the construction. [AB109–10; Universal House of Justice 20 June 1991 para 8]
A meeting hall and some of its dependencies had been built before 1900.
The dependencies included two Bahá'í schools, a travellers' hostel, a medical dispensary and Hazíratu'l-Quds. [BBD122; BBR442; BBRSM:91]
For a Western account of this see BBR442–3.
See jacket of BBR for a photograph of work on the Temple.
See the message of the Universal House of Justice dated 1 August, 2014 for more on the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in `Ishqábád.
Location: In the heart of the city of `Ishqábád
Foundation Stone: Late 1902 by General Subotich, the governor-general of Turkistan who had been delegated by the Czar to represent him.
Construction Period: Initial step had been undertaken during the lifetime of Bahá’u’lláh. Superstructure: 1902 – 1907. External Ornamentation: 1919
Site Dedication: No record of a dedication ceremony on completion of the building can be found although the external ornamentation was completed in 1919 it is probable that the building had been in use for some years by this time.
Architects: `Abdu'l-Bahá Himself delineated the general design. More specific design was by Ustad Ali-Akbar-i-Banna and a Russian architect, Volkov, planned and executed the details of the construction under the supervision of Hájí Mírzá Muhammad-Taqí, the son of Hájí Siyyid Muhammad, the uncle of the Báb for whom Bahá'u'lláh had revealed The Kitáb-i-Íqán. [AB109]
Dependencies: two Bahá'í schools, a travellers' hostel, a medical dispensary and Hazíratu'l-Quds
Lease period: – 1938
Seizure; the building was turned into an art gallery
Demolition: August 1963 the Universal House of Justice announced that it had been demolished by the authorities and the site cleared.
References: AB109, BW14p479-481, GPB300-301, CEBF236, EB266-268, MF126-128
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Dependencies of; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Architects; Foundation stones and groundbreaking; General Subotich; Krupatkin; Haji Muhammad-Taqi Afnan (Vakilud-Dawlih); Afnan; Bab, Family of; Haji Siyyid Muhammad; Ustad Ali-Akbar-i-Banna; Volkov; Haziratul-Quds; Bahai schools; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Life of
||Louis Bourgeois was selected as the architect for the Chicago House of Worship. [DP94; GPB303; SBBH1:145]
For details of the designs and selection process see DP76-100.
See CT159 for the source of inspiration for the design.
See FMH75-76 for details of a visit by Willard and Doris McKay to his home. He reported that "the inspiration for the Temple was from another realm and that he had been conscious, from the beginning, that Bahá'ulláh was the creator of the building."
||Wilmette; Chicago; United States
||Louis Bourgeois; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Architecture; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architects
|1920 27 Apr
||The design for the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar at Wilmette, Illinois, was finally chosen by the forty-nine delegates present at the Twelfth Annual Convention of Bahá'í Temple Unity, being held at the Hotel McAlpin, New York. Excavation at the site began on the 24th of September and construction commenced on the 20th of December.
||New York; United States; Wilmette
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architecture
|1958 21–24 Mar
||The second Intercontinental Conference was held at the mid-point of the Crusade convenes in Sydney, Australia. [BW13:319]
Hand of the Cause Charles Mason Remey, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative and who was the architect of the Mother Temple of Australasia, attended, accompanied by four other Hands of the Cause. [BW13:317]
For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC72–5.
For a report of the conference see BW13:319–21.
||Sydney; Australia; Australasia
||Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Charles Mason Remey; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Sydney; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Architects
||"In response to the call issued by the National Spiritual Assembly of Chile, 185 design concepts have been received from architects and designers around the world for the Mother Temple of South America to be constructed in Santiago." [Riḍván 2003 To the Bahá’ís of the World]
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Santiago; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture
||The announcement by the Universal House of Justice of the appointment of Siamak Hariri of Toronto, Canada, as architect of the Bahá'í Temple to be built near Santiago in Chile. [BWNS223]
See Ted Talk by Siamak Hariri entitled How do you build a sacred space?
||Santiago; Chile; Toronto
||Siamak Hariri; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Santiago; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architecture; Architects; BWNS
|2012 (In the Year)
||The Office of Temples and Sites was established at the Bahá'í World Centre. The purpose of the office was to coordinate initial preparations for the temple builds with the respective National Spiritual Assemblies.
Firstly a committee is formed in each country, entrusted with identifying, together with institutions and agencies at all levels of the community, means to promote widespread participation and to channel the enthusiasm engendered among the friends following the announcement of the projects.
Another practical step in these national and local projects has been the selection of a suitable piece of land, one which is modest in size, strategically located, and easily accessible. Then a construction office for the project is established to assist with the management of technical, financial, and legal issues.
The next step is to call for the preparation of a design for the Temple edifice. This begins with the selection of potential architects and the formulation of an architectural brief defining the requirements for the structure which will ultimately result in a contract for the final design. Architects are presented with the singular challenge of designing Temples “as perfect as is possible in the world of being” that harmonize naturally with the local culture and the daily lives of those who will gather to pray and meditate therein. The task calls for creativity and skill to combine beauty, grace, and dignity with modesty, functionality, and economy and consideration for local customs and practices. [The Universal House of Justice message dated 1 August, 2014]
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Architecture; Beauty; Economics; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|2014 14 Sep
||Some 500 people attend the unveiling of the design of the first local Bahá'í House of Worship in Norte del Cauca, Colombia
Julian Gutierrez Chacon was the architect for the House of Worship.
The relationship between the environment of the region and the community was also expressed in the design of the House of Worship, which was inspired by the shape of the cocoa pod, a plant that grows abundantly in Colombia and was integral to the identity of the landscape and the lives and economy of the people.
See BWNS for pictures.
||Agua Azul; Norte del Cauca; Colombia
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Colombia; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architecture; Architects; BWNS
|2015 17 July
||Some 300 people attended the unveiling of the design of the first local Bahá'í House of Worship in Battambang, Cambodia
See BWNS1062 for pictures.
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Cambodia; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architecture; BWNS
|2016 11 Oct
||The final newsreel on the construction of the Bahá'í House of Worship for South America was released as the time for the highly-anticipated dedication of the Temple approached. The video highlighted major developments over the previous year and the growing connection of the community to the Temple and the activities of service and worship that it inspired. [Video; Architect Siamak Hariri]
||Siamak Hariri; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Santiago; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture
|2016 13 - 16 Oct
||The public dedication of the Mother Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile. The opening ceremonies were attended by over 5,000 people from 110 countries. Live video coverage of the public opening ceremony was provided on the Bahá'í World News Service website for approximately 90 minutes and the video recording has been made available at that website.
The Mashriqul-Adhkár (Dawning-Point of God’s Remembrance) is located outside of Santiago in Peñalolen, a commune whose name means "reunion of brothers" in the local language. [BWNS1128].
The temple was built in the foothills of the Andes, between mountains and city. The 2,415 square-metre edice (26,000-square-feet) is essentially one large room with nine doors made of bronze. The interior is surrounded by a dome that is made up of nine elements – called petals. These begin wide at the bottom of the building and then narrow upward to meet in a spiral at the top, separated by crescent-shaped windows and a round window at the top. The outer surfaces of these petals are made of 32-millimetre-thick panels of cast glass, which have a ruddy, milky quality to them; the inner surfaces are made of smooth Portuguese marble. Both layers are translucent.
Each of the nine wings of the building has two surfaces – one of cast glass and one of stone both of which rest on the steel structure. Each of those two surfaces has more than 1,000 separate components in more than 150 different shapes categorized as droops, slumps, bullnoses, shoulders, elbows, or spines. Each piece, which had to be crafted in three dimensions, was shaped using digital models. [BWNS1126]
Canadian architect, Siamak Hariri, began work on the $20-million project in 2003. [BWNS1127] The landscape architect was Juan Grimm, one of the most well-known landscapers of Latin America.
The Universal House of Justice was represented by Counsellor Antonella Demonte from the International Teaching Centre.
Message from the Universal House of Justice.
Location: Santiago, Chile
Construction Period: 2013 – October 2016
Site Dedication:13-16 October 2016
Architect: Siamak Hariri
Landscape Architect: Juan Grimm
Dimensions:2,415 square-metre (26,000 square-feet)
Cost: approximately $30m
Since its dedication in October 2016, the Temple has been a recipient of an International Architecture Award as well as awards for structural artistry from the Institution of Structural Engineers, for innovation in architecture from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, for innovation from the American Institute of Architects, for design excellence from the Ontario Association of Architects, for “Best in Americas, Civil Buildings,” from World Architecture News, and for Architectural and Cultural design from American Architecture Prize. [BWNS1262]
- The Temple design won the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) International Prize. This renowned prize is awarded every two years and was created to celebrate socially transformative, respectful, uplifting and inclusive architecture. [FloorNature site.]
- This site states that since the opening some 1.4 million people have visited. Some weekend have had up to 36,000 visitors.
- This site has some spectacular photographs.
- The announcement that Hariri Pontarini Architects had won the prize on the 25th of October, 2019.
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Santiago; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Siamak Hariri; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Awards; Architects; Juan Grimm; Counsellors; Marble; Gardens; BWNS; Dedications; - Basic timeline, Expanded
|2017 18 Jun
||The plan for the design of the local Mashriqul-Adhkár in Tanna, Vanuatu was announced. Ashkan Mostaghim of Mostaghim & Associates, a firm from Sydney, Australia, was chosen as the Temple’s architect. His design was on the shortlist for the Continental Mashriqul-Adhkár in Santiago. [BWNS1175]
No less than a hundred design ideas had been offered for the Temple. [Ridván Message, 2014]
In the same message, the House of Justice highlighted Tanna as an example of a community where an entire population is moving toward a vision of material and spiritual prosperity, for which Baha’is around the world are striving.
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Vanuatu; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architecture; Architects; Ashkan Mostaghim; BWNS
|2017 1 - 2 Sep
||The opening of Cambodia’s first “Local House of Worship” in Battambang, just over two years after the design of the building was unveiled in July 2015. News of this project was announced in 2012 along with other projects in Bihar Sharif, India; Matunda Soy, Kenya; Norte del Cauca, Colombia; and Tanna, Vanuatu.
The Mashriqul-Adhkár was designed by Phnom Penh-based architect Tang Sochet Vitou. It is situated on a 9-hectare property of which 1.5 hectares is used for the temple, an administrative building as well as gardens and ponds. The temple is a frequent topic of conversation among the local population. Even before its completion, it had galvanized action towards the betterment of the community and brought neighbours together. it will help provide for the spiritual needs of Cambodia’s growing Bahá'í community which, according to the Ministry of Cult and Religion’s most recent annual report, numbers about 12,000 although some adherents say the figure may now be closer to 20,000. Bahá'í communities were first recorded in the kingdom in the 1920s and since 1992 they have grown steadily with the help of aid workers and Asian immigrants.
In a letter dated 18 December 2014, the Universal House of Justice explained that a Bahá'í House of Worship is a “collective centre of society to promote cordial affection” and “stands as a universal place of worship open to all the inhabitants of a locality irrespective of their religious affiliation, background, ethnicity, or gender and a haven for the deepest contemplation on spiritual reality and foundational questions of life, including individual and collective responsibility for the betterment of society.”
The dedication was marked by a two-day conference bringing together over 2,500 people from Battambang and every other region of Cambodia. A number of Cambodian dignitaries attended along with representatives of other Bahá'í communities in Southeast Asia. The Universal House of Justice was represented by Ms. Sokuntheary Reth who served on the Continental Board of Counsellors in Asia.
See the letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated 1 September, 2017, for the message to the gathered friends.
Location: Battambang, Cambodia
Design unveiled:July 2015
Groundbreaking ceremony: 14 November, 2015
Construction Period:January 2016 to September 2017
Site Dedication: 1 September, 2017
Architect: Tang Sochet Vitou
Architectural firm: Architecture Design Intelligence (ADI)
Dimensions: Inside height 11.8m
BWNS1190 (slide show),
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Cambodia; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Architects; Tang Sochet Vitou; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Dedications; Firsts, Other; Gardens; BWNS
|2018 21 Mar
||The design for the national Bahá'í House of Worship of Papua New Guinea (PNG) was unveiled.
Originally from New Zealand, Rodney Hancock—one of two individuals who brought the Bahá'í Faith to PNG in the 1950s—was asked to unveil the temple design before the audience of over 300 visitors.
The architectural team—composed of indigenous architect from PNG Henry Lape and Saeed Granfar—also addressed the audience. They explained that the “search for a universal theme” for the temple was “a profound challenge in a country with more than 700 distinct cultural groups.
The central edifice of the House of Worship will have a seating capacity of 350. [BWNS1246, EMTV.com 3 April, 2018]
From the website of the department of External Affairs for the Bahá'ís of Papua New Guinea.
||Port Moresby; Papua New Guinea
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Port Moresby; Architecture; Architects; Rodney Hancock; Henry Lape; Saeed Granfar; BWNS
|2018 15 Apr
||The design for the local Bahá'í House of Worship was unveiled at a gathering in Matunda Soy, Kenya attended by about 1,000 people. The temple will accommodate about 250 people and the design incorporated the diamond-shaped pattern, a motif commonly found in Kenyan culture. It will be built of construction materials found locally; the roof will be made of local state and the walls from from stone quarried nearby. The Temple’s architect, Neda Samimi, was the first female architect whose design for a Baha’i House of Worship was selected. [BWNS1251]
||Matunda; Matunda Soy; Kenya
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kenya; Architecture; Architects; Women; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|2019. 24 Nov
||Progress Report on the construction of the national Bahá'í House of Worship for Papua New Guinea the first Mashriqul-Adhkár to be designated as a national Temple.
The House of Worship will be situated on a hilltop in the country’s sprawling capital city, Port Moresby. It will be located on the same property as the Bahá'í community’s national offices and will include gardens and other meditative spaces. The central edifice will have nine gabled-roof entrances made of timber.
After receiving formal approval to commence construction from National Capital District’s building board in August, the excavation work began. At the time of the report, the Temple’s foundation was being laid and it was expected to be complete by December. Work on the steel superstructure was scheduled to begin in January.
|Port Moresby; Papua New Guinea
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Port Moresby; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Architecture; BWNS
|2020. 2 Jul
||The design for the national Bahá'í House of Worship to be built in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was unveiled through an online announcement by the National Spiritual Assembly.
The design, created by Wolff Architects in Cape Town, South Africa, was inspired by traditional artworks, structures and natural features of the DRC, as well as by the Bahá'í sacred teachings, particularly by the spiritual concept that God’s bounty is unceasingly flowing over all people. The patterns that will adorn the outside of the dome of the central edifice will express this idea in a style reminiscent of the artwork of various Congolese peoples.
Commenting on the design, the architects stated: “We were inspired by an image of 19th century Congolese architecture which showed the most beautiful structures that appear to have finely woven bamboo facades with a parabolic roof made of palm leaves. These houses were located amongst giant baobab trees. ... The undulating roof of the temple makes reference to this history.” [BWNS1438]
|Kinshasa; Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC)
||BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Congo DR; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Architects; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kinshasa
|2020. 20 Nov
||The Bahá'í World News Service released a progress report on the construction of the Mashriqul-Adhkar in Port Moresby.
After the laying of the foundations which was completed last December, work progressed on an intricate steel structure for the central edifice that traces the unique weaving pattern of the exterior. An innovative design for the steel dome, devised by Werkstudio, an engineering firm based in Germany and Poland, will provide the required strength with an economical use of material.
The structural system will interfaces with the nine entrance canopies that provide lateral strength to the temple. This system, parts of which are nearing completion, will eventually support a steel dome mesh that will at its apex reach a height of approximately 16 meters above floor level.
Designs were being finalized for wood panels that will adorn the entrances of the temple, using local timber. Planning is also under way for gardens that will surround the central edifice.
|Port Moresby; Papua New Guinea
||Mashriqul-Adhkar, Port Moresby; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Architecture; BWNS