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Calvin Ray
Student
Asked a question last year

What is the speciality of lotus temple?

What is the speciality of lotus temple? Discuss it's construction steps.

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Terry Collins
Sustainability consultant

The Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India, is a temple belonging to the Bahaii faith and can house 2500 people and was opened to public in 1986.

The dome-shaped circular temple has a maximum height of about 35 mtrs at its centre. The temple is famous for its fully blossomed lotus design by the Iranian architect, Fariborz Sahba and constructed by Flint and Neill, and has won many international awards of excellence for design, architecture and execution. The temple has 27 free-standing petals of marble arranged in clusters of three petals of different sizes on 9 directions/sides with a closed lotus-shaped high dome at the centre all of marble cladding. The entire circular hall under the dome is north-lighted with central airconditioning. The temple is laid out on spacious beautiful flower-bedecked lawns on a flat hillock surrounded by busy dense residential clusters and commercial complexes. It is one of the important and popular landmarks for visitors to the city to see.

Wilma Caldwell
Architectural technologist
What is the speciality of lotus temple?

The speciality of Lotus Temple:

  • Lotus temple is also called a Bahai house of worship.
  • It is one of the best architectural Marvels in our country in Modern Times
  • Lotus temple is known for its beautiful flower-like architecture and marvellous ambience that make it a popular tourist attraction for people of all faiths.
  • The Bahai Lotus temple is one of the world’s most beautiful religious building.
  • Lotus shaped is common to several religion including Hinduism and Buddhism
  • There are 9 sides of the temple formed by 27 marble petals, they are arranged in groups of 3.
  • The 9 doors lead to a central prayer hall that has a capacity of 2500 people and is about 40 metres high.
  • The floor inside the Central Hall is also made of marble.
  • The temple is visited by more than 4 million people every year.

Thank you.

Seth Morgan
Construction Superintendent

The Lotus Temple, located in Delhi, India, is a Bahai House of Worship that was dedicated in December 1986. Notable for its flowerlike shape, it has become a prominent attraction in the city. Like all Bahai Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all, regardless of religion or any other qualification.

The building is composed of 27 free-standing marble-clad “petals” arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides, with nine doors opening onto a central hall with a height of slightly over 34.27 metres and a capacity of 2,500 people. The Lotus Temple has won numerous architectural awards and has been featured in many newspaper and magazine articles. A 2001 CNN report referred to it as the most visited building in the world.

Construction of Lotus Temple :-

Sequence :-
The basement and the interior podium were first built. From there, to raise the arches and shells, the structure was divided in parts, bearing in mind that when the formwork was removed, the constructed part would support itself until the next part was complete. The structure was divided in the following way:

Arches :-
The nine arcs were built one after the other until the circle was complete. The dismantling of the soffit of each arch was done once the adjacent arches could provide the necessary resistance.

Inner leaves, radial beams and central axis :-
Once all the arches were completed, the interior steel structure of panels was raised. Three frames were mounted simultaneously and raised with two elevators to the level of the radial beam. The process was repeated until all nine segments were in place. The insertion of the central axis was an independent operation, after which all panels were placed to connect to the central axis through the radial beams.

Interior dome :-
After fixing the interior panels, the steel cladding was modified and the folds of the shells of the interior dome were made one after the other. For each shell, three folds, the contour ribs first and then the rest of the assembly. The process was repeated until all shells were completed.

Access and outer leaves :-
The construction of the outer leaves in the entrance and the exterior ones were completed in tandem, along with the inner leaves and the dome. Firstly, the two leaves of the entrance and an intermediate external one were mounted. From there, they alternated the rest of the leaves of the adjacent entrances and the exterior ones. As the concrete set, the formworks were removed and moved to the next set of leaves.

Staging and formworks :-
Deviation was an important consideration in the design of the formworks. The maximum permitted deviation was three millimetres per metre, including any manufacture or assembly errors.

For the assembly of the formwork of the leaves and interior dome, they had to keep in mind the following factors:

– The cementing of the storerooms had to be done three at a time, in a way in which the lateral loads of the individual supports of the formworks would be reduced as much as possible. Once completed, the concrete external surfaces were covered with burlap and cured for 28 days, keeping them continuously wet by means of a fixed sprinkler system in the upper part of the shells.

– Construction joints were to be avoided as much as possible, in order that the exposed concrete surface would show no other lines apart from the architectural pattern. In the inner interior panels, the construction joints were located above 24.8 metres.

In the interior dome, the formworks were designed in such a way that the wooden beams would support the panels, rather than the usual way, in which it would be supported by the steel structure. The interior formwork of each petal was fixed from the base up, taking into account that they must stay perfectly aligned.

Jayden Adams
Construction Assistant

Hi,

General facts about the lotus temple are already mentioned in the above comments. Here, I describe details of a stone used in this great structure. Encouraged by the lotus flower, the design of Lotus Temple for the House of Worship in New Delhi is composed of 27 free-standing marble-clad “petals” arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides.

The nine doors of the Lotus Temple open onto a central hall slightly more than 40 meters tall. The surface of the House of Worship is made of white marble from the mountain in Greece, the same marble from which many ancient monuments (including the Parthenon and other Bahas Houses of Worship are built). Along with its nine surrounding ponds and gardens, the Lotus Temple property comprises 26 acres.

The architect was an Iranian, Fariborz Sahba who now resides in Canada. He was approached in 1976 to design the Lotus Temple and later oversaw its construction. It is one of the highest quality of marble, on which many monuments and idols of Greek Gods and Goddess are made.

Thank you.