The Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India is an iconic building with a flower-like 'lotus' structure. It was the last of seven major Bahai's temples built around the world and became the mother temple of the Indian subcontinent.
The design was drawn from the essential architectural characters of the Baha’i scripture, inspired by the lotus flower which has long been a unifying symbol in India’s religions.
Architect Fairborz Sahba’s Expressionist lotus flower design had to be converted into definable geometrical shapes such as spheres, cylinders, toroids and cones to be constructed. These shapes were then expressed as mathematical equations, which could be used as a basis for structural analysis and engineering drawings. The resulting geometry was so complex that it took the designers more than two and a half years to complete the detailed drawings.
The concrete frame and precast concrete ribbed roof incorporate 27 white, marble-clad ‘petals’ arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides, surrounded by nine pools of water. It has nine doors that open onto a central hall which can accommodate 2,500 people.
The lotus is ‘open’ at the top, where a glass and steel roof at the level of the radial beams provides protection from rain and allows natural light into the centre. The building sits within a 26 acre site.
Since opening in 1986, the temple has won a number of architectural and design awards, and has become one of the world’s most popular buildings, attracting 8,000 to 10,000 people a day.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Architectural styles.
- Building of the week series.
- Calakmul Corporate Building, Mexico.
- Dancing House, Prague.
- Dunmore Pineapple.
- Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.
- Habitat 67.
- Luxor Las Vegas.
- Mimetic architecture.
- Robot Building, Bangkok.
- Rose Museum.
- Sagrada Familia.
- St Basil’s Cathedral.
- Tallest buildings in the world.
- The Gherkin.
- Unusual building design of the week.
 External references
Featured articles and news
The origins, evolution and future of Level 3 BIM.
For new and returning Urban Design students, check out our article list divided up into the modules you'll be studying.
Report states that health of urban dwellers could be significantly improved by rethinking transport design.
The Kremlin, the centre of Russian power, includes some of the country's finest architecture.
Report launched outlining steps for a national infrastructure system that is efficient, sustainable, and delivers until 2050.
A review of Justin Bere's concise and well-presented introductory guide to Passive House.
This article describes in detail the tender process for a typical commercial construction contract.
What is energy storage, what are the different types and what is its future?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a state-of-the-art concert hall in Beijing.
Take a look at BIG's designs for two twisting towers in New York City.
'The filing cabinet' which was labelled one of the best British buildings of the 21st century.