Building Name – Bahá’í House of Worship-Samoa
Location – Tiapapata, 8 km from Apia, Samoa
Architect – Hossein Amanat (Iranian-Canadian Architect)
Year of Start – 27 January,1979
Year of End – 01 September,1984
- All Bahá’í Houses of Worship, including the Temple of Samoa, share certain architectural elements, some of which are specified by Bahá’í scripture. `Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of the founder of the religion, stipulated that an essential architectural character of a House of Worship is a nine sided circular shape. While all current Bahá’í Houses of Worship have a dome. Bahá’í scripture also states that no pictures, statues or images be displayed within the House of Worship and no pulpits or altars be incorporated as an architectural feature.
- The Mother Temple of the Pacific Islands in Samoais situated at a high elevation near the country’s largest population center.
- Malietoa Tanumafili II, the king of Samoa and the world’s only reigning Baha’i monarch, dedicated the structure in September 1984.
- The property comprises nearly nine hectares (twenty-two acres) at an altitude of approximately six hundred meters (1,900 feet).
- The white, mosaic-tiled dome rests atop nine pairs of buttresses clad in imported Australian granite in soft red tones.
- Through use of modern construction techniques, the dome’s nine ribs of mirrored glass, the graceful arched windows, and the wide expanse of glazing over each portal seemingly draw light through the structure itself and provide an iridescent effect when the building is lit at night.
- The shell of the dome and the internal structure are of white reinforced concrete, bushhammered to a soft texture and accented with native ifilele wood joinery.
- The flooring is a warm-red quarry tile.
- The building rests on a raised base and measures thirty-one meters (102 feet) from the basement to the top of the dome.
- The main hall seats five hundred people; a cantilevered mezzanine that rings the perimeter provides additional seating for two hundred, including a choir.
- At the apex of the dome, the ribs converge to create a pattern of light, in the center of which is set the symbol of the Greatest Name.
- Quotations from the writings of Bahá’u’lláh are carved over the doorways and on the decorative wood paneling inside the House of Worship.
- Construction materials were imported from many parts of the Pacific: cement and steel from Japan and New Zealand; granite from Australia; white aggregate from the tiny island nation of Niue; and white sand from New Zealand.
- The grounds of the Temple include extensive gardens with more than sixty species of indigenous plants and trees; an open-air visitors’ center with a large meeting hall, a bookshop, and an office for Temple guides; a caretaker’s residence; and the National Hazíratu’l-Quds.
- In addition to regular weekly devotional programs featuring a notable Samoan choir, special services are held at the House of Worship annually on such occasions as United Nations Day and International Women’s Day.