New Temple Designs Combine Beauty, Efficiency

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“New Temple Designs Combine Beauty, Efficiency,” Ensign, Mar. 1982, 75–76

New Temple Designs Combine Beauty, Efficiency

The First Presidency has announced that the latest generation of temples, to be constructed in ten locations worldwide, will be single-story buildings with high capacity for temple work.

“The new plan is smaller, more efficient, and much more economical to build and operate,” said Elder W. Grant Bangerter, Executive Director of the Temple Department.

The new temple plans include one version with an annual capacity for 195,000 endowments, and a smaller version with a 90,000 potential. Interiors of the steep-roofed, six-spired temples will include four ordinance rooms, three sealing rooms, a celestial room, a baptistry, and offices for the president, matron, and recorder. Endowment sessions will begin every thirty-five minutes, with the larger building accommodating fifty patrons per session, the smaller version seating twenty-three.

The larger temples will be built in Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and Frankfurt, Germany. Smaller ones will be located in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Johannesburg, South Africa; Lima, Peru; Manila, Philippines; Seoul, Korea; and Stockholm, Sweden. Construction will require approximately one and a half years, according to Allen B. Erekson, architect.

Derek F. Metcalfe, managing director of administration of the Temple Department, described the temples as beautifully designed, with furnishings as fine as those in any other temple. “The interiors will include such things as beveled-glass fixtures, bronze trimmings, indirect lighting, colored glass, mirrors, and appropriate works of art,” he said.

Revisions of plans for other temples have also been announced by the First Presidency. Affected will be temples planned or under construction in Atlanta, Georgia; Nuku‘alofa, Tonga; Apia, Western Samoa; Sydney, Australia; Santiago, Chile; and Papeete, Tahiti. The revisions include a tower on each temple, with a ten-foot-high statue of the Angel Moroni atop the Atlanta Temple.

The new temples, according to Church architect Emil B. Fetzer, will be decorated in soft whites, blues, and purples, with antique white furnishings. Mirrors will give their interiors a feeling of airiness and roominess. “Each temple,” he said, “will have a very fine celestial room, with cathedral glass on the end walls, and a beautiful chandelier in the center of the room. It will be worthy to be the crowning point of the temple.”

Reflecting on the future of temples and temple work, Brother Metcalfe recalled President Spencer W. Kimball’s 1980 announcement of temples to be erected worldwide. “He said then that this was the commencement of the fulfillment of prophecies made by President Brigham Young that there would be hundreds, possibly thousands, of temples scattered throughout the earth. President Kimball indicated that this was the beginning of a program of taking the temples to the people. That is the significance of the temple building now—to make them more available to Saints throughout the world.”

Single-story, six-spired temples will require about a year and a half to build.

Angel Moroni statue will stand atop tower of Atlanta, Georgia, temple.

Papeete Tahiti Temple, modified for Tahiti by Temples and Special Projects Architectural Division; Allen B. Erekson, manager.

Single tower completes design of temples to be built in Nuku‘alofa, Tonga; Apia, Western Samoa; and Sydney, Australia.

Temple in Santiago, Chile, will have two ordinance rooms.