Lotus Temple Architecture

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3.1 Cosmic Architecture and the Lotus Temple

The interrelationship between elements expresses the way man lives. Structures and meanings form cosmologies. The living forces in nature are the roots of the environment. Man evolves mentally if he grasps those meanings and qualities in an aim to interrelate the experiences of place. The creation is seen as the harmony between heaven and earth. In Ancient Egypt, the world was seen as space between heaven and earth. The sky has cosmic meanings (Norberg-Schultz, 1980: 23). Swami Paramananda (2000) shares his deep spiritual insight by stating that the pyramidal shape as seen in the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt has cosmic connotation in that its shape
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It is viewed as the Mother Temple in the continent. It was designed by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba. The Lotus Temple accommodates people of all religions. The aim is to practise meditation in a perfect place to achieve peace of mind. The main hall can host two thousand and five hundred people at a time (Mueller, 2010). The temple complex is a half-open lotus flower surrounded by its leaves. Each component of the temple is applied nine times. The other functions are an ancillary block that houses the reception centre, the library with an administrative building and a restroom block. The temple is surrounded by nine pools (Plate.3.1-2) that illustrate the leaves of the flower, with bridges, stairs and curved balustrades (Baha’is of India, 2008).The pools have an aesthetic appeal but more to that, they help in cooling and ventilating the building (Baha’is of…show more content…
Its roots can be found in the Zoroastrian architecture. It is also representative of Mother Saraswatee in the Hindu religion. The lotus represents the womb in the Buddhist religion (Baha’is of India, 2008). In the Hindu mythology, the lotus flower represents the origin of Brahma who came from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Therefore, symbolically the lotus signifies pureness and serenity, and therefore the lotus temple is the perfect place to carry out meditation (Indian Temples, 2011).The lotus flower is poetically the emblem of beauty with its distinct decorative and fair appeal (Baha’is of India,2008).

The form of the lotus caters for the various possible geometric shapes like spheres, cylinders and cones. All the ribs and shells are made in white concrete up to the radial beam level. The shells were reinforced while the binding wires are galvanized to prevent rusting of the material. The outer surface of the shells is clad in white marble which was cut and shaped to suit the geometry and pattern required in Italy and transported to

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