Image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects
Solution

Bahá’í House of Worship of South America

Santiago, Chile

Market: Religious

Client

Hariri Pontarini Architects

Completion

2016

Awards

2019 RAIC International Prize, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
2018 Engineering Excellence Grand Conceptor Award, American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts
2018 Engineering Excellence Grand Award, American Council of Engineering Companies
2017 Structural Engineering Excellence Shortlist for Construction Innovation, Institution of Structural Engineers
2017 Structural Engineering Excellence Award for Structural Artistry, Institution of Structural Engineers
2017 Innovation in Architecture Award, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
2015 Most Innovative Project Award (less than $100 million), Architectural Engineering Institute
2015 Award of Merit for Architectural Engineering Integration, Architectural Engineering Institute
Bahá’í House of Worship of South America

Image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects

Baha'i Temple Chile
Bahá’í House of Worship of South America

Image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects

Designed by Siamak Hariri of Hariri Pontarini Architects, the Chile Baha’i House of Worship sits on a hillside set against the Andes Mountains. At nearly 100 ft high, the temple features nine entrances, welcoming worshipers from all directions. The entrances are highlighted by nine wing-shaped, translucent shields clad with cast glass on the exterior surfaces and marble on interior surfaces. Working with the architect, SGH assisted with the structural design for the exterior and interior cladding components, assemblies and support systems; peer reviewed the seismic base isolation system; and consulted on the waterproofing systems.

Scope | Solutions

The project’s primary structural challenges included an intricate geometry, high precision fit-up and quality of finish, a remote site with high seismic demand, never-before-used materials, and an extended design life. Creating the structure’s unusual shape required each panel in each of the nine cladding petals to be unique. Highlights of our work include the following:

  • Created three-dimensional structural models of the complex forms

  • Used computational tools to determine the seismic accelerations for every piece of the stone and glass cladding

  • Explored the use of alabaster as a cladding material

  • Performed materials testing in our laboratory determine the design strength and behavior of the custom cast glass and natural stone cladding

  • Evaluated the stone’s performance under the anticipated temperatures

  • Developed strategies for attaching the curved cladding assembly to the structure, considering relative movement and limiting distortion of the cladding panels

  • Used solid finite element modeling of glass, silicone, and metal to evaluate the composite behavior

Project Contact(s)

This is a superb example of how SGH brings together its diverse collection of advanced engineering technologies.

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