Baháʼí Temple of South America, Chile
An extraordinary structure was built in Chile: the "Temple of Light". It is one of eight Bahá'í temples worldwide. The monotheistic Bahá'í religion has about seven million followers, mainly in India, Iran, Africa, and North and South America. It took many decades to plan the temple.
Structural Analysis, Construction, and Execution (Steel and Roofing)
Josef Gartner GmbH, Würzburg, Germany
Hariri Pontarini Architects
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada
Josef Gartner GmbH, a German customer of Dlubal Software, was given the job of planning, design, and construction of the entire structure above the foundation.
The shape of the temple resembles a nine‑petaled blossom of a lotus flower. The building has a diameter of about 111.5 ft and a height of 98.4 ft. The substructure consists of a two-story concrete structure and a flat footing.
As the site is placed in a Chilean region with a high seismic risk, it was necessary to uncouple the structure horizontally from the ground with regard to vibrations. That is why a total of ten friction pendulum bearings were arranged between the concrete columns and the second intermediate ceiling.
The steel supporting structure is a kind of space frame with an upper and lower chord layer consisting of rectangular cross‑sections as well as round pipe diagonals serving as connecting elements.
The nine petals, which are identical in construction, close with their leaf apices at the maximum point, forming a light dome (oculus). The structural skeleton is formed, as with real plant petals, by an interior framework consisting of round pipes with thicker section walls of d = 12.7 in.
First, the building was modeled using the Rhinoceros design software. Then, the complete 3D model was transferred to RFEM and RSTAB and optimized in close cooperation with the architect.
Finally, Gartner calculated the steel structure in RFEM and RSTAB considering the impact of earthquakes.
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Programs Used for Structural Analysis
Structural engineering software for designing frame, beam, and truss structures, as well as performing linear and nonlinear calculations of internal forces, deformations, and support reactions
Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids, and contact elements
Analysis of Natural Vibrations
Seismic and static load analysis using the multi-modal response spectrum analysis