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Constructing a Typology of Latter-day Saint Temples

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Killian Poulter

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) the most sacred spaces are temples. In these buildings considered the "House of the Lord" members of the Church take part in saving ordinances of the most significant degree. As such, the architecture of the temple is a significant part of the cultural identity for members of the Church. Throughout the history of the church there have been numerous architectural designs that identify a temple.
This project will look at the typology of LDS temple exterior design and attempt to distill it down to its most fundamental parts to determine what makes a temple recognizable. This has relevance for practicing design firms in Utah and around the globe as temple design and construction is a global endeavor. Cataloging temple typologies can create a guide for architects working in this field and help them to strike a balance between creating a building that is unique but identifiable while creating harmony with the local context.
The primary focus of the project will be a cataloging of temples and their major design types. It will be visualized by a large matrix that will organize a representative sample of temples from diverse time periods and geographic locations to demonstrate typologies found in temples. This will show what design types exist and how many temples share these features. It will also show how temples and the type categories have changed over time. This can determine if there are typologies shared by all temple exteriors and help designers in creating new temples that are both distinct and recognizable.
University / Institution: Utah Valley University
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #A19
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Architecture
Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro