following last year’s completion of the bahá’í temple of south america, the design for the national baha’i house of worship of papua new guinea (PNG) has now been unveiled. the religious venue will be one of two national baha’i temples to be constructed in the world in the coming years. ‘in the bahá’i writings, the house of worship is described as a collective center of society to promote cordial affection,’ explained secretary of the national spiritual assembly of baha’i of PNG, confucius ikoirere. ‘it stands as a universal place of worship open to all the inhabitants of a locality, irrespective of their religion, background, ethnicity, or gender.’
the venue will be one of two national bahá’i houses of worship to be built in the world
located in port moresby, the national bahá’i house of worship has been designed by architects henry lape and saeed granfar, who explained that the search for a universal theme for the project was ‘a profound challenge in a country with more than 700 distinct cultural groups’. the temple’s central edifice will have a seating capacity of 350, while the nine gable-roofed entrances reflect a traditional structure that, according the design team, is associated with the sacred throughout several major regions of the country.
the national temple will be able to seat 350 people
‘one subtle image which time and again stood out to us was that of the art of weaving,’ explained henry lape and saeed granfar. ‘in traditional village life, which remains alive and vibrant in papua new guinea today, and in urban households alike, woven surfaces and objects are found in abundance. it is an image which resonates closely with ‘home’ for many of us, a functional and inherently beautiful art form which we interact with daily.’
the scheme was inspired by the art of weaving, an important part of life in papua new guinea
the house of worship intends to be a space where the people of papua new guinea can unite in the worship of god and find inspiration to serve humanity together. ‘the craft of weaving is analogous to the process of building unity in diversity,’ continue the architects. ‘individual strands come together to form something infinitely stronger than the object’s constituent parts, and the whole draws on the contributions of each individual strand.’
the house of worship has nine gable-roofed entrances
the ceiling of the house of worship spirals upward
the temple was designed to evoke a sense of the many diverse cultural groups on the islands
church architecture and design (136 articles)
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