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.