Category Archives: Temple Design

Heterarchy enter competition to design multi-faith centre

By | Architectural / Interior Design, Architecture, Religious & Sacred Architecture, Temple Design | No Comments

As part of the Heterarchy studio’s ongoing interest in designing for Religious and Spiritual groups, we have entered a competition aimed at providing multi-faith communities with solutions that enable them to house all of the different groups within one building.

As challenging as this may seem, our creative director Rosemarie Fitton has this to say, ‘If you trace back the origins of all religions and faiths, you’ll find their symbols and visual language all contain certain underlying elements that are universal. The use of sacred geometry based upon the universal laws of nature give us a great starting point when looking for common themes and meanings. We know it’s entirely feasible to design a [religious and spiritual] centre that can be used by an entire community.’

We’re currently in the process of developing design concepts, looking at both the architecture of the building as well as the interior design. For more information on temple interior design and design for religious and spiritual buildings click here.

Putting the spirit into space

By | Architectural / Interior Design, Religious & Sacred Architecture, Temple Design | No Comments

Mandir Interior Design CeilingThis is the first of a series of posts about designing religious, spiritual, sacred and meditation spaces. An emerging area of our work, we are interested in understanding how a space can be designed to embody spiritual or sacred characteristics.

Our interests are multi-demoninational ie. not specific to any one particular religion or faith. We have found by looking across the range of faiths and cultures it is possible to identify those elements that are universal across all. Perhaps these can be described as universally human characteristics, intrinsically tied to our shared natural existence. By tapping into these universal elements, we find it possible to engage with the whole spectrum of religions and faiths, developing concepts that have both universal relevance and provide specific visual reference to a particular faith.

We are at the beginning of our journey, although this is something that has interested the Heterarchy studio from the very beginning. We are in the process of completing our first Hindu temple in the UK, having designed all of the interior spaces including the main Mandir or shrine room. This project is currently on site, due to open in January 2011. We are also in the midst of designing a ‘Spiritual Centre’ in Holborn, Central London. This is also for a Hindu organisation but the concept behind the use and design of the building is quite different to anything that has been done before. More on this in a later post.

Over the course of these posts, we will be examining and investigating both our ongoing work within this field as well as looking at broader issues relating to designing religious and spiritual spaces. For more information specific to the religious and spiritual interior design services we provide click here. To see a short film which includes our Hindu Temple project click here.

British Architects to design new Indian Temple to resurrect 700 year old lost architectural tradition

By | Architecture, Religious & Sacred Architecture, Temple Design | No Comments

With our interest in all things to do with temple design, it is interesting to read in Building Design about an architect in Wales who is to design a Hindu temple in Bangalore, in an ancient style that was phased out over 700 years ago.
Adam Hardy, a leading authority on Indian temple architecture and design, is probably the only person in the world who has the knowledge and understanding of this particular Hindu architectural tradition, known as the style of the ‘Hoysala Dynasty’ which was lost over time. The building will not be a replica of existing temples in the region but a new interpretation of this lost tradition.
We will be closely watching the progress on this commission. Plus it will be one more reason to visit India in the future.

With our interest in all things to do with temple design, it was interesting to read in Building Design about an architect in Wales who is to design a Hindu temple in Bangalore, in an “ancient” style that was phased out over 700 years ago.

Adam Hardy, a leading authority on Indian temple architecture and design, is probably the only person in the world who has the knowledge and understanding of this architectural tradition which was lost over time. The building will not be a replica of existing temples in the region but a new interpretation of this tradition.

We will be closely watching the progress on this commission. Plus it will be one more reason to visit India in the future.

The Iron Mosque

By | Architecture, Religious & Sacred Architecture, Temple Design | No Comments
Malasias new landmark - Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque.

Malasias new landmark - Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque.

Putrajayas new landmark Mosque was built using six thousand tonnes of steel, which accounts for a staggering 70% of all construction materials used. The recently completed Tuanku Mizan Zainal Adidin Mosque opened its door to muslims and non-muslims throughout the world on 4th September 2009. Known as ‘The Iron Mosque’, it will be the second principle mosque in Putrajaya, sitting a neighbourly two kilometers away from the Putra Mosque. Designated as a tourist attraction, the management have been urged not to restrict access to Muslims alone.

The mosque has been designed around three concepts of wind, simplicity and transparency. It caters for 20,000 worshipers. The main prayer hall houses the Mihrab wall that directs the worshipers towards the “kiblat” (direction of Mecca). The Khat is inscribed into the back of the anti-reflective glass, giving a sense of verses floating down from the sky. The Mihrab is inscribed with the Quaranic versus in the Alasakh calligraphic-style. The ‘Sahn’ is the overflow prayer area outside the main prayer hall and the entrance to this is via a gateway called the ‘Internal Iwan’.

The architecture of the mosque features stainless steel grilles, based on Islamic motifs, mirroring traditional Islamic architecture in a contemporary style. The whole building is open and  cool even without any air-con because the space allows the wind and air to pass through the wall-less corridors.

Muslims working and living in Putrajaya can now perform their prayers at another awe-inspiring landmark.

Inside the 'Iron Mosque' - designed around three conepts of wind, simplicity and transparency.

Inside the 'Iron Mosque' - designed around three concepts of wind, simplicity and transparency.

Heterarchy to design interiors of new Hindu Temple

By | Architectural / Interior Design, Religious & Sacred Architecture, Temple Design | No Comments
Rosemarie and Jenni ponder the potential of this huge space

Rosemarie and Jenni ponder the potential of this huge space

Heterarchy have been appointed to design the interiors for the new Hindu BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha temple in Leicester, UK. The brief involves creating a series of contemporary interpretations of the traditional Swaminarayan temple interior.  The site is an existing factory complex, covering some 30,000 square feet.  In terms of a conversion of an existing industrial building it is about as radical a transormation as it gets. As far as we can tell we are possibly the first western interior design consultancy to be asked to design an interior of a Hindu Temple, and in particular be the mandir designers for the project.

This is an ideal project for our creative director Rosemarie Fitton as she has always held a keen interest in Sacred and Spiritual architecture, completing her BA thesis and major project on the subject – “This is a great opportunity for us, in fact we feel privileged to be involved in such an amazing project.  Hopefully as our knowledge and experience within this field grows we might also develop a new aspect to our business.”

The project is due for completion by August 2009