Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly
National House of Worship
CLIENT
The Baháʼí Faith is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity of all people. Established by Baha’u’llah in 1863, it initially grew in Persia and parts of the Middle East. Baháʼí writings refer to an institution called a "Mas͟hriqu'l-Ad͟hkár" (Dawning-place of the Mention of God), which is to form the centre of a complex of institutions.

The National House of Worship in Kinshasa will be the first in the Democratic Republic of Congo and one of two national and five local
Bahá’í Temples currently being planned and constructed in different countries around the globe, joining a series of eight continental Houses of Worship that have been completed.
PROJECT
In 2018, we were invited by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of DRC for a Concept Design Competition of the National Bahá’í House of Worship for the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Mas͟hriqu'l-Ad͟hkár, the National Offices and the other Community Facilities were to be located in a 14.2Ha in Kinshasa, approximately 7km away from N'djili Airport.

The design vision of the National House of Worship retained the traditional Bahá’í House of Worship design, requiring the building should be nine-sided, of circular arrangement, and have a dome to denote that the House of Worship is among other things open to all, irrespective of religious affiliation, background, ethnicity and race.

The form of the National House of Worship is driven by function - prioritising structural efficiency, acoustic excellence and thermal comfort and is constructed from local materials - clay and ceramic tiles, earth, timber and metal.

The surrounding landscape articulates, with similarly equal treatment, the nuances and diversity of the wider site with the support buildings complementing the House of Worship.

The findings of this research will be disseminated as a design framework setting out evidence-based approaches for purpose-built, human-centred facilities aimed at supporting survivors.
IMPACT
We are inspired by Bahá’ís vision to use locally sourced materials for construction to not only reduce the carbon footprint of the House of Worship but also as a reference to the culture of the DRC people.

The requirement to involve the community during the process of design and construction is also one that resonates with us and our value for community empowerment.
Location: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Year: 2018 (Competition)
Built Area: 3,500 m2