1836 East Don Carlos Ave., Tempe, Az. 85281 480.668.7744 jason@jason-eslamieh.com theminiatreegarden@yahoo.com

The Mother Temple of South America

JE Design participated in a design competition in 2003 submitting a concept design, vision statement and design narrative to the South American Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly of Chile. While our design was not selected, the name we chose The Temple of Light, our vision statement and our design narrative, were ironically almost identical as that of the winning design.   

Our vision and design synthesis grew from the irresistible notion that from the ‘darkest pit to an ever shining Temple’, this building would encapsulate the natural sunlight by filling the interior with the most soothing light—light that Baha’ú’lláh was denied of during His incarceration—resulting in the Temple becoming a brilliant lantern visible for miles.

Consistent with the new teachings of the Bahá’í Faith, the philosophical approach and design distinction of this building will create a new architectural vocabulary for this and future Bahá’í structures which will set them apart from the structures of previous religious dispensations. This building should bear witness to an era of architecture where the importance is placed upon the spiritual teachings of the Faith rather than empty ideologies, parables and stories.

A harmonious marriage between the spiritual and the material world became the fabric that would delineate spirituality through its architectural presence. Through the hierarchy of its masses, the fluid nature of its translucency, the use of materials and the simplicity of its shape this building will evoke a new style of architecture and a new message to humanity that pronounces the importance of our life in the here and now.

The glass roof structure has been designed with a sensitive shading device that is not only a part of the structural element, but a device to introduce defused natural light into the space thereby creating an ever changing experience with the seasons and time of day. As a result, The Temple of Light will feel alive and timeless. The nine-sided entries, each peaking at thirty feet, will bring horizontal light into the space giving the environment a feeling of weightlessness, creating a more spiritual experience. The roof structure, combined with the folding plate structure of the entries, resembles the Andes Mountains with the deep cuts representing an ageless reminder of the significant and insignificant events of our own lives. Just as the Andes bring the water of life to the City of Santiago, The Temple of Light will bring the spirit of life to all who pass through its doors.

As a tribute to the first Bahá’í Temple built in Ashkabad, Russia and its holistic approach to love and service to humanity, we also master planned the entire forty-one acres with the Temple surrounded by facilities that deliver the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh’s Faith. We set the diamond within the ring, hoping that the hands of the Faith will reach out and raise humanity up to a new level.