LOTUS TEMPLE , NEW DELHI AND ITS BIO-MIMETIC HISTORY

  ABOUT THE PROJECT
  • Location              :  New Delhi
  • Total Site area    :  24 acres
  • Climate               :  Tropical with great variations in temperature
  • Building Type    :  Worship Place
  • Architect            :  Fariburz Sabha
  • Project year       :  1979-1986
  • Cost of Project  :  Rs 10 000 000



INSPIRATION:    LOTUS FLOWER 

Observing Hindu architecture, you can see that despite the external difference between the various temples, they all show meaningful and sacred symbols common to all of India’s religions. These are symbols which have emerged in other countries and religions. One of these symbols is the sacred flower of the Indians: the lotus flower.Fariborz Sahba developed the project for the temple inspired conceptually by this flower which symbolises purity and cleanliness in Hindu tradition. 

   DESIGN CHALLENGES:

  • Generation of form
  • Engineering Challenge
  • Climatic Challenge
  • Baha'i Faith
  • Financial restriction

GENERATION OF FORM 


  • This concept had to be converted into defined geometric forms, such as spheres, cylinders, toroids and cones, which were translated into equations and later used as a base for the structural analysis and engineering plans. The resulting geometry was so complex that the plans for the temple took two and a half years to complete.
  • The design is composed of 27 free-standing marble- clad "petals" arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides. 
  • These 3 petals each with a pond, have been repeated symmetrically at regular intervals creating a rhythmic pattern. 
  • The temple is surrounded by nine large pools of water that not only enhance its beauty but also play a role in the natural cooling system of the hall. 
  • •All elements are in multiples of “9” as it is said to symbolize comprehensiveness, oneness and unity.
  • Rhythmic patterns provide continuity and lead us to anticipate what comes next.
  • In plan its form is composition of circles and circular segments .





R


SYMMETRY
Radial symmetry refers to the balanced arrangement of similar, radiating elements such that the composition can be divided into similar halves by passing a plane at any angle around a center point or along a central axis.


SCALE AND PROPORTION

  • From the main node the structure looks 
  • monumental 
  • The entry gates in the main hall are in human scale with almost 4 meters of height 
  • Once you enter the main prayer hall, the sense of monumental continues with the hall almost 40 m. High. 
  • The hall can seat almost 1200 people at a time.


      STRUCTURAL DETAILS
  • The basement and the interior podium were first built. From there, to raise the arches and shells, the structure was divided in parts, bearing in mind that when the form-work was removed, the constructed part would support itself until the next part was complete. The structure was divided in the following way:
  • Almost the entire structural load of the temple’s interior space is supported by nine arches which spread out around the central hall, located at angular intervals of 40°. The forms of these arches are created by flat, conical and cylindrical surfaces. The intersection of these surfaces presents interesting contours and considerably improves the beauty of the arches.














    Need for Passive Cooling Techniques:

  • The climate in Delhi is very hot for several months of the year, and the degree of humidity varies,
  • It seemed as though the only solution for the ventilation problem would be air-conditioning
  • But it requires involves large amount of energy to maintain it . For a temple in India it is not favorable

    Cooling method adopted:

  • Building as a chimney
  • The central hall of the temple is designed to function as a chimney, with openings at top and bottom (stack affect) This ensures a constant drought of cool air to pass over the pools in basement and hall
  • Cool air (heavy) is drawn from the bottom openings and hot air (light) is emitted out from the top
  • This process is reversed in humid days
  • The natural slope of land is used in creation of certain large basement at the level of pools . The floor of auditorium is lowered by five steps so that they act as lovers for cool air entering
  • Two sets of exhaust fans complement this system .
  • The first of dome cools the concrete shell and prevents transference of heat
  • The second set funnels air from the auditorium to the cold basement for cooling and recycles it back.

    Light in interiors

  • The whole superstructure is designed to function as a skylight.
  • The interior dome is spherical and patterned after the innermost portion of the lotus flower. Light enters the hall in the same way as it passes through the inner folds of the lotus petals.
  • The central bud is held by nine open petals, each of which functions as a skylight.
  • The interior dome, therefore, is like a bud consisting of 27 petals, and light filters through these inner folds and is diffused throughout the hall.




     BIO-MIMICRY AT BEHAVIOR LEVEL


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