Award of Merit: Historic Category
Terrace and Garden Restoration at the Baha'i House of Worship
Submitted by The Armbruster Company
Baha’i National Center
The Armbruster Company
Wood Dale, Illinois
BASF Construction Chemicals
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
As the year 2000 approached, deterioration in the terrace, monumental stairs, and gardens of the Baha’i House of Worship became clearly noticeable. The Baha’is’ goal is to keep their historic House of Worship in excellent condition over the next 1000 years.
The scope of concrete repairs included: 35,000 square feet (3251.6 square meters) of terrace and monumental stairs; nine garden fountains; two reflecting pools; 29 garden stairways; 18 retaining walls with ornamental benches; four acres of historic gardens; and architectural concrete on the first-story cornice.
To match the original exposed aggregate architectural concrete materials, a dedicated precast concrete facility was established to produce the 7700 precast units needed for the project.
To replicate the historic concrete’s pure white quartz, the team searched the continent before finding a suitable deposit and then arranged to quarry, ship, and commercially crush 1750 tons (1588 metric tons) of white quartz. The quartz was further processed to the required sizes with crushing and screening equipment in the project’s precast concrete facility.
Work on site proceeded in phases to keep the building and portions of the gardens open throughout construction.
The newly restored terrace and gardens provide an enchanting backdrop for the strikingly beautiful Baha’i
House of Worship.