Sunday, July 22, 2012

Celestial Rooms With Ceilings Vaulted Into Towers

So often in temples built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Celestial Room, even when directly below a tower, does not actually look up into the tower (for example, the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple).  There are probably several reasons for this.  Some building codes may limit the height of useable space, so the room cannot open into the spire and meet building codes (which I find silly by the way).  Also, as a structural engineer I know that the building is much easier to design if you don't stick a hole in the roof diaphragm, although we can still get buildings to work, it just takes more effort on our part.  I love it when a temple actually uses the space of the spire to make the celestial room even taller.  Here are a few examples:

Cardston Alberta Temple Celestial Room
Laie Hawaii Temple Celestial Room
The Cardston Alberta Canada Temple and the Laie Hawaii Temple were the first to really use the space at the top of the temple.  While neither of these temples technically have a tower, they do jut up a bit at the center and this central space is the vaulted top of each temple's celestial room.  The vaulting in these temples allows for windows on every side of their celestial rooms.

Idaho Falls Temple Celestial Room
The Idaho Falls Temple is probably the first with a tower that the Celestial Room opens into.  I don't have a photo of this, but if you sit in the Celestial Room you can stare up into the tower and actually get use of the tower windows.

San Diego Temple Celestial Room
Probably the best example of actually using the spire space has got to be the San Diego California Temple.  Its Celestial Room occupies one of its two main towers and provides the spectacular view pictured here.

Draper Utah Temple Celestial Room
More recently, the Draper Utah Temple has somewhat used its tower.  the view from the celestial room takes advantage of the lower portions of the spire.  The upper windows are still not visible from the celestial room and the dome at the top in the picture is painted to look like a dome and actually doesn't poke up into the spire.  Even so, this is a better use of the spire space than most temples accomplish.

I'd like to hear about other temples that actually use the spire space in the Celestial Room (or elsewhere) so please comment about other temples that use this space.  I hope that we will start seeing the tower space of temples being used much more often.

Original Latter-day Saint Temple Architectural Drawings

I recently found some great original architectural drawings of the Nauvoo Temple and Salt Lake Temple.  They are on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' website.

The Nauvoo Temple architectural drawings are found here:

The Salt Lake Temple Drawings are found here:

There are only a few drawings of the Nauvoo Temple, but they do let you see how the design changed over time.  The Salt Lake Temple plans are extensive and show numerous changes that are quite fascinating.  You can even see what are essentially shop drawings of every course of stones for the temple.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.