National Bahá’i House of Worship

Best Project of Public Building or Facility

About the project
The Baha’i belief of the interrelated duality of Worship of God and Service to humanity is captured in the proposal for two interrelated dome structures, one dedicated to worship and the other dedicated to service.
The internal dome is made of concrete and locally available brick whose heavy mass will provide coolth and a protected space for worship. The brick patterning is a gesture to local forms, materials and the traditional artefacts found in the region. Openings will be integrated at the top and sides to allow natural light in and exhaust hot air out. The external dome is a light-weight timber and reed/bamboo shading device in nine structural sections or leaves with nine entrances formed by the gap between the leaves. The form is inspired by the Nymphaea Lotus lily or African lily commonly found in the Congo river. The proposal is undoubtedly African, rooted in its immediate and historical context. Reinforcing the central message of the Baha’i faith and unity of purpose.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Project design year

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Applicant and authors of the project
MMA Design Studio.
Architecture studio founded by owner and architect Mphethi Morojele as MMA Architects CC in 1995, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The studio provides professional services in architecture, urban regeneration, design, research and strategic thinking. Our focus is on the ability of design to respond to and enhance the historical and emerging African condition at all levels of human social, cultural, artistic and economic endeavours.

Other participants
Competition Entry