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NATIONAL BAHÁ’I HOUSE OF WORSHIP

DESIGN COMPETITION, 2019

Typology Sacred Spaces Location KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

The Baha’i belief of the interrelated duality of Worship of God and Service to humanity is captured in the proposal for two interrelated dome structures, one dedicated to worship and the other dedicated to service.

The Baha’i belief of the interrelated duality of Worship of God and Service to humanity is captured in the proposal for two interrelated dome structures, one dedicated to worship and the other dedicated to service.

The internal dome is made of concrete and locally available brick whose heavy mass will provide coolth and a protected space for worship. The brick patterning is a gesture to local forms, materials, and the traditional artefacts found in the region. Openings will be integrated at the top and sides to allow natural light in and exhaust hot air out. The external dome is a lightweight timber and reed/bamboo shading device in nine structural sections or leaves with nine entrances formed by the gap between the leaves. The form is inspired by the Nymphaea Lotus lily or African lily commonly found in the Congo river. The proposal is undoubtedly African, rooted in its immediate and historical context. Reinforcing the central message of the Baha’i faith and unity of purpose.