The temples of the Bahá’í Faith are renowned for their beauty—and the new national Bahá’í House of Worship in Papua New Guinea will be no exception. Yesterday the Bahá’í International Community unveiled plans for the national Baha’i House of Worship of Papua New Guinea, a latticed domed temple open to all regardless of religion. Locally based architects Henry Lape and Saeed Granfar created the design with the country’s over 700 distinct cultural groups in mind in hopes of creating “a universal theme.”
Yesterday’s Bahá’í House of Worship design unveiling was celebrated during Naw-Ruz, the Bahá’í New Year, at the temple’s proposed site in Papua New Guinea’s capital of Port Moresby. Set overlooking the Waigani valley, the proposed temple is located on an elevated plot with the advantage of views and cool breezes even in the heat of the day. The latticed dome temple is open for cross ventilation and alludes to the country’s traditional craft of weaving.
“One subtle image which time and again stood out to us was that of the art of weaving,” continued Mr. Lape and Mr. Granfar in their talk. “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.” Weaving imagery also ties into Baha’i’s embrace of peoples from all backgrounds. “The craft of weaving is analogous to the process of building unity in diversity. Individual strands come together to form something infinitely stronger than the object constituent parts, and the whole draws on the contributions of each individual strand.”
As specified by Bahá’í scripture, the national Bahá’í House of Worship in Papua New Guinea features nine sides, each with a gable-roofed entrance. The temple will be able to seat 350 people.
Images via Bahá’í International Community