01 March 2009

Temple Design: Concept Model



Here is a first pass at the 'Temple as a tent in the wilderness' - one of two ideas I am exploring for a temple. Please see this post for background on the project. Basically, viewing our existence as a journey in the wilderness, the tent provides us a vertical axis to God and a means of progress to find God.


First sketch


Plan sketch

The journey begins as you approach the building and are drawn in towards the openings at either side. You then proceed beginning at the base, moving upwards through the ordinance rooms culminating at the sealing rooms at the top. The movement occurs along a vertical axis - the elevators and stairs, (colored in red) represented as the tent pole in the metaphor.



The large slotted screening element wrapping around the building would be south-facing to capture sunlight; providing a place of refuge from the sun. The separation between the main volume and this screen provides the entrance to the building. During the heat of the day, this screen will be bathed in light, providing shade to the ordinance rooms. At night, the opposite would hold true, with the light emanating from only the open slots.

14 comments:

Th. said...

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It's lovely. The only temple it reminds me of, though, is the one in Independence. I'm not sure if you want that comparison?

But that raises a question: how much should new temples obviously fit into a progression from past temples? I wonder if this issue is the main reason so many people don't like Provo/Ogden?

green mormon architect said...

Thanks Th.,
Good point about the comparison. I do love the Independence temple, though. It is based on a conch shell in form with the spiral reaching a peak at the center space. The circulation follows this spiral and leads to the main worship space. So to me it is quite different, but I do see the comparison.

I think you are correct that the temples fit into a progression from past temples. Almost all the recent temples have taken forms from the Cardston and Mesa Temples - and for good reason - they are among the finest designed temples the Church ever built.

However, I don't think that Provo and Ogden are disliked because they don't fit a progression from past temples. They do look different, but other temples are far more different. At the time the Cardston Temple was built, it was as different a design from the Utah Temples of Salt Lake, Logan, St George, and Manti as is humanly possible - no towers, no steeples, low and horizontal to the ground, etc. It was, however, very much a product of the time and place it was built - applying the Temple ceremonies to the current design aesthetic and principles of the day. A modern building that represented all the major spaces in the exterior form of the building. In my opinion, this was the most successful the Church has ever been at Temple construction. I think this is why we continue to draw from them in our current buildings - trying in some way to replicate what was done there. But this is a very different world now that, in my opinion, requires new and different approaches and solutions.

joe4prez said...

I like the concept; it's too bad you couldn't have designed the Centennial Center / Art Museum at the University of Wyoming. They based it also on the concept of a tent/tepee. Yours is definitely contains an aesthetic lacking at UWYO.
I am also happy to see a complete absence of the ever abundant blocky look in the temples of the past 15 years. I am getting sick of that look. I sometimes wonder how in the world the San Diego temple ever got built.

joe4prez said...

I like the concept; it's too bad you couldn't have designed the Centennial Center / Art Museum at the University of Wyoming. They based it also on the concept of a tent/tepee. Yours is definitely contains an aesthetic lacking at UWYO.
I am also happy to see a complete absence of the ever abundant blocky look in the temples of the past 15 years. I am getting sick of that look. I sometimes wonder how in the world the San Diego temple ever got built.

Th. said...

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The thing about the conch shell and Fibonacci and so forth made me hesitant to mention it, but it did remind me. And I like the Independence temple too.

Any change in form will eventually become historical president, given enough time. Which isn't to suggest I disagree with your take on Mesa/Cardston.

green mormon architect said...

joe4prez,
Thanks for you comments. I am not familiar with the Art Museum in Laramie, but will check it out.

I liken the SD Temple to an other-worldly space encounter, not dissimilar to the inside of the Conference Center. With both, my thoughts always go towards space travel and science fiction. Maybe it was intentional? I don't know.

L-D Sus said...

GMA: The building at UWYO was designed by Predock. The comparison may or may not be a compliment...depending on your personal taste. I love the inside of the building, but the exterior is out of context with the campus and city.

Your model is beautiful. But I must admit that I am a big fan of classic elements in "permanent" buildings like Temples. Classic doesn't go out of style. The "modern" buildings from the 60s and 70s buildings have left me a little nervous of anything new. Sound like and engineer?

john f. said...

very, very cool model and concept. I would love to see this in use.

green mormon architect said...

John F - thanks for your comments. I'm not holding my breath for something like this to get built - but at least if concepts like this are out there, we may have a better chance...

LD-Sus - thanks for the heads up on the designer. I checked it out, and it is quite an interesting building. Predock is well known. From the website, it appears he based the concept on the idea of an "archival mountain". Here is his site for anyone interested: http://www.predock.com/Wyoming/wyo.html

I agree there are some less than desireable LDS buildings done in the 70's, but it doesn't seem like we have really returned to a classical style of building (or that we ever built classically). The current temples I have seen are not necessarily a pure style, and don't have many classical elements but appear to be a mix of various styles, types, and forms. On further reflection, this may be as a direct result of the design of the Salt Lake Temple, which is quite unique and doesn't conform to previous "styles" of buildings.

Anonymous said...

Very pretty design, definitely reminds me (as others have said) of the RLDS Temple, but of course both designs draw the same inspiration from the "golden ratio" and nautilus forms of nature. Unfortunately like most postmodern architecture, it is designed more to look decorative than to be functional (Gehry is a big perpetrator of this). Have interior spaces been considered from the point of view of practicality? In the case of the RLDS temple, most of the spire is purely decorative with the usable rooms arranged around the ground floor (if I recall it correctly.)

C. Biden said...

Were you inspired by the SOM cathedral project in Oakland, CA? It's also reminiscent of the original Santiago Calatrava proposal for the same project.

Anonymous said...

BTW, you should really visit the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco: some really beautiful models.

Anonymous said...

First of all, unless this temple is being placed in the mid-west, it is entirely inappropriate to use the teepee as a precedent.

Second, though the circle is now often associated with eternity, perfection, etc, it is widely known among Native American historians that the prevalence of circles in Native American design is largely due to a religious 'cult.' Older structures (those that would be from Book of Mormon times) largely resemble structures found in Egypt and Israel.

Third, you need to examine the climate of the site location before deciding that the exterior should be wood. Wood does not stand up well to harsh sun OR lots of rain, especially when the design encourages the rain to run down the entire side, not allowing for protection of the siding.

Fourth, do you even go to the temple? Do you know what you are talking about?

Heaven help us if you ever design a temple. Keep trying.

Holly said...

the Predock building is really cool--thanks for posting the link to it.

Your design is way too cool for an LDS temple, which any more is nothing but a movie theater with extra nice upholstery on the seats. One of these days, temples will probably be in strip malls, and no one who actually uses them will notice the difference. It's the logical extension of holding sacrament meeting in the BYU testing center.