Independence Temple

Independence Temple & Community of Christ International Headquarters

One of the first projects of renowned that Zahner produced locally, the Independence Temple was built in 1994, which at it's opening was known as the RLDS Temple. The shape of the design evokes the form of a spiral nautilus shell (see pictures below). Gyo Obata of HOK , the architecture team who designed the temple, asked us to develop a roof solution based on a conch shell he had selected from a large collection of seashells during a design meeting.

The solution for producing the roof consisting of more than 300 individual panels, each tapered and unique in shape. At the time, HOK used a proprietary software system for their design work, while Zahner was producing it's work using AutoCAD to augment what was still mostly drafting at the time. Zahner took field measurements of certain defining points of the roof, and radioed them back to the shop, where a custom written AutoCAD script was waiting o divide the roof surface into panels.

This technique gave us the tools to produce this very intricate design, but without using the direct parametric relationships that we now use for digital fabrication. Though quite advanced compared to what was available in the industry at the time, if Zahner were to produce the project today, our current technologies would cut the project's schedule in half.

RLDS Independence

The above picture provides a view into the engineering and construction used on the top of the spire.  Union workers at Zahner prepare the part for shipment.  After its installation, custom engineered panels are attached to the face of the this sub-structure, resulting in a quick and smart installation.

This roof itself is produced in a custom-finish stainless steel, perhaps a predecessor in some ways to the Angel Hair Stainless Steel that Zahner developed to reduce glare. The complexity of this roof attests to the engineering and design prowess, as well as the skilled craftsmen involved with this project.

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