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On the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, where suburban sprawl meets the foothills of the Andes, the Bahá’í Temple of South America rises like an exotic flower on the cusp of blooming, its nine translucent glass-and-marble sails bulging outward before spiraling over a single interior space to converge at a 30-metre-high apex. The material draws in dappled sunlight by day and radiates a soft interior glow by night.

The Bahá’í Faith is all about universality, so Hariri Pontarini Architects was careful not to refer to specific religious iconography in their work. The result, with its hearth-like radiance, unambiguously evokes spirituality – and even transcendence.

Projects: Bahá’í Temple of South America

Location: Santiago, Chile

Firm: Hariri Pontarini Architects, Canada

Team: Siamak Hariri, Justin Huang Ford and Doron Meinhard with Adriana Balen, Michael Boxer, Jaegap Chung, John Cook, Jimmy Farrington, Tiago Masrour, Jin-Yi McMillen, Donald Peters, George Simionopoulos, Mehrdad Tavakkolian and Tahirih Viveros

Bahá’í Temple of South America
This year's AZ Awards of Merit in the category of Architecture over 1,000M² went to bold and inspiring large-scale projects in five different countries.

Explore more Award Winners

2014
Award of MeritBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Location
Mexico City, Mexico
Firm
Fernanda Canales and Arquitectura 911sc, Mexico City
Team
Fernanda Canales, Jose Castillo and Saidee Springall
2020
WinnerBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Location
Qinhuangdao, China
Firm
ch Office (Shanghai, China)
2018
Award of MeritBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Location
Beijing, China
Firm
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, USA