Siamak Hariri: How do you build a sacred space?
To design the Bahá'í Temple of South America, architect Siamak Hariri focused on illumination from the temple's form, which captures the movement of the sun throughout the day, to the iridescent, luminous stone and glass used to construct it. Join Hariri for a journey through the creative process, as he explores what makes for a sacred experience in a secular world.
Siamak Hariri holds deep respect for the transformative potential of architecture, specializing in creating works of enduring value.
Siamak Hariri is a founding partner of Hariri Pontarini Architects, a 120-person practice based in Toronto. His portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized buildings has won more 60 awards including the Governor General's Medal in Architecture, and he's been celebrated as one of Canada's "artists who mattered most" by The Globe and Mail. With his partner David Pontarini, Hariri won the 2013 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada's Architectural Firm Award.
One of Siamak's earliest projects, the Canadian headquarters of McKinsey & Company, is the youngest building to receive City of Toronto heritage landmark designation. He has recently completed public and private projects include the award-winning Richard Ivey Building, Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University, the Jackman Law Building for the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, the Schulich School of Business at York University and the Integrated Health Sciences campus with the University of Waterloo's School of Pharmacy and the McMaster University Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in downtown Kitchener, Ontario.
In the fall of 2016, Hariri completed a project he began in 2003, the Bahá’í Temple of South America, located in Santiago, Chile -- the last of the Bahá’í continental temples. Won through an international call and a rigorous design competition (185 entries from 80 countries), the temple is poised to become an architectural landmark at the foothill of the Andes. It has already won some of the top architecture awards including the RAIC Innovation Award, the World Architecture News Best Building of the Year (selected by 97 judges around the world); Architect Magazine's Progressive Architecture Award (architecture's top unbuilt projects award); the Canadian Architect's Award of Excellence and the International Property Awards. The project was also profiled by National Geographic Magazine.
Hariri's current projects include the multi-phase Welcome Project for the Royal Ontario Museum and the complex Princess Margaret Space Transformation Project. He has recently won two international design competitions; first the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, and second, the new Tom Patterson Theatre, which is poised to become the heart of the Stratford Festival.
Born in Bonn, Germany, Hariri was educated at the University of Waterloo and Yale University, where he completed a Master of Architecture. He has taught at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto, and he's been a lecturer and guest critic for numerous organizations across North America. Hariri was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Architecture from Ryerson University for his contribution to architecture in Canada and abroad. The University of Toronto also honored him with an Arbor Award for his contribution to the university experience as a lecturer and adjunct professor. Hariri lives in Toronto with his wife, Sasha Rogers, and their three children: Lua, Yasmin, and David.