Bahá’í Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile

Structures Analysed with Dlubal Software

  • Customer Project

Customer Project

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 Engineering Structural analysis, construction, and completion (steel and roofing)
Josef Gartner GmbH, Würzburg, Germany
josef-gartner.permasteelisagroup.com
Architect Hariri Pontarini Architects
Toronto, Canada
www.hariripontarini.com
Investor National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís rel="noopener noreferrer" of Canada
www.ca.bahai.org

Model

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.

Structure

The shape of the temple resembles a nine‑petalled 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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  • Updated 26 January 2022

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