Staff -- Interior Design, 7/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
Mix the Parthenon with the Pantheon, place the result on a hillside in Haifa, Israel, and you've got the headquarters of the Universal House of Justice, the legislative arm of the Bahá'í faith. However, plans for the world's newest Bahá'í temple dispense with the neoclassical in favor of a lyrical modernism. Toronto architect Siamak Hariri's Bahá'í Temple, near Santiago, Chile, is slated for completion by 2006.
Followers of any religion can appreciate Hariri's plan. It's based on the form of a nine-point star, the symbol of the Bahá'í faith, with nine torqued wings of translucent alabaster and stone enfolding the steel-and-glass structure. During the day, sunshine will filter through the crevices. At night, as light from inside illuminates the wings, the temple will glow like a lantern.