Node Studio were invited to take part in a closed competition to design the regional temple for the Bahai faith in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Their design scheme centers around the dome structure.
The Baha’i belief in 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 to service.
The internal dome is made of a combination of a concrete lattice structure and locally available brick whose heavy mass will provide coolth and a protected space for contemplation and worship. The brick dome and brick patterning is a gesture to local forms and materials and the traditional artefacts found in the region. The external dome is a light-weight timber and reed/bamboo shading device sitting over a landscaped garden and amphitheatre. Its weaving is an interpretation of traditional raffia and Kuba weaving traditional to the region at overlapping scales whose shadows will be reflected on the inner dome.
The aim is to use locally available and locally referenced materials in a sustainable and responsible way .The Silhouette of the House of Worship will change throughout the day and night due to changing light conditions with the internal solid dome sometimes being more visible and sometimes disappearing beneath the light-weight and ephemeral veil. The proposal is undoubtedly African, rooted in its immediate and historical context.