Why are Mormon temples so ugly?

MVP

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All I can think looking at any religious building ( be it a temple, church or mosque) is - what a waste of money. Could be a hospital, gym, pool, kindergarden, dorm for homeless people or some other useful building. Sorry folks, just how I feel.
 

♪alt13

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The two above don't look good at all. Specially the upper one. My biggest problem is the huge featureless box that composes most of the temple. Sure the front is nice, but the rest if big white box. I don't like that conference building style either. It is very blocky and featureless. The Joseph Smith building downtown is beautiful, but it's not a temple.
The Joseph Smith Memorial building used to be the Hotel Utah. It was a joint venture between the church and a hotelier to have a classy hotel for prominent visitors in SLC. The LDS church later acquired full ownership of the building and re-purposed it.
 

jimmy eat jazz

Well-Known Member
LDS Temples are a mixed bag. Some are quite beautiful, others meh. For example, the Boise temple is hideous. The church went through a phase where it seemed to have tilted the scales way too far in the direction of functionality and cost and away from aesthetics (during which it produced several Boise-like temples), now it appears to be swinging back a bit the other direction.

My problem with a lot of the designs is that they are too modernistic and boxy, not classic designs that will stand the test of time. So, while I think the Draper Temple, for example, is not too bad, it is a dated design that, IMHO, will not hold up over time. But then, I tend to prefer more classic, timeless architectural styles to modernistic ones (which helps explain why Colonial is my absolute favorite home style and why I loath Ivory Homes styles).
 

str8line

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So how many people get to go inside a temple and how often? Places like St. Peters and other beautiful cathedrals around the world still welcome the masses. Am I wrong that temples are almost always off limits? There a a lot of beautiful temples in this thread but if you can't visit them/use them it seems like a big waste or a way to dangle the carrot.
 

colton

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So how many people get to go inside a temple and how often?
Basically temples are for worship in sacred ceremonies that are restricted to active believing members.

Places like St. Peters and other beautiful cathedrals around the world still welcome the masses. Am I wrong that temples are almost always off limits? There a a lot of beautiful temples in this thread but if you can't visit them/use them it seems like a big waste or a way to dangle the carrot.
I get where you're coming from, but they serve different purposes. See here for some answers to the question as to what LDS temples are used for: https://www.mormon.org/faq/use-of-temples.

After construction and prior to the "dedication", temples are open to the public in an "open house" for tours. I see you're in Sandy, so not too far fro Provo. Right now the Provo City Center temple (formerly the Provo Tabernacle) is having such an open house. See here for info: https://www.lds.org/church/events/provo-city-center-temple-open-house-and-dedication?lang=eng. It talks about getting tickets, but if you don't have them you can still stop by and they won't turn you away.
The tour is about 30 min, I did it a few days ago.
 

jimmy eat jazz

Well-Known Member
Basically temples are for worship in sacred ceremonies that are restricted to active believing members.



I get where you're coming from, but they serve different purposes. See here for some answers to the question as to what LDS temples are used for: https://www.mormon.org/faq/use-of-temples.

After construction and prior to the "dedication", temples are open to the public in an "open house" for tours. I see you're in Sandy, so not too far fro Provo. Right now the Provo City Center temple (formerly the Provo Tabernacle) is having such an open house. See here for info: https://www.lds.org/church/events/provo-city-center-temple-open-house-and-dedication?lang=eng. It talks about getting tickets, but if you don't have them you can still stop by and they won't turn you away.
The tour is about 30 min, I did it a few days ago.
In terms of architecture, if you've ever been inside the LDS conference center at Temple Square, then you've pretty much seen what there is to see inside the modern LDS temples. It's nice enough but hardly inspiring. More like a nice, functional corporate building than architecturally inspiring. Now, the early LDS Temples are another thing with quite beautiful craftsmanship and design. The LDS Church long ago opted to tilt the balance toward function over form (modern LDS chapels are the quintessential triumph of functionality over form-boring, repetitive uninspiring, but very functional), though as I mentioned earlier, the pendulum is shifting a bit more in the form direction in some cases. But, this is understandable, as buildings cost a lot of money and with the number of chapels/temples being built, the current approach leads to significant economies of scale; building an architecturally distinct building each time would be cost infeasible.

I should add that the Joseph Smith building in downtown SLC is, in my opinion, a beautiful building inside and out. The LDS Church did a masterful job repurposing it.
 

infection

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I've enjoyed the new architecture on some of the temples under development and recently built. I like that it's starting to branch out from some of the typical 4-5 styles that have been traditional. There are still a few, like Star Valley, that are rather plain, but overall I've enjoyed seeing the new designs as they've been released.

Cedar City



Tucson



Tijuana



Durban, South Africa



Barranquilla, Columbia.



Concepción, Chilé.

 

Witty Username

Well-Known Member
I've enjoyed the new architecture on some of the temples under development and recently built. I like that it's starting to branch out from some of the typical 4-5 styles that have been traditional. There are still a few, like Star Valley, that are rather plain, but overall I've enjoyed seeing the new designs as they've been released.

Cedar City

(snip)
If only there were buildings bigger than 1500 square feet that offers employment in Cedar City
 

fishonjazz

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I've enjoyed the new architecture on some of the temples under development and recently built. I like that it's starting to branch out from some of the typical 4-5 styles that have been traditional. There are still a few, like Star Valley, that are rather plain, but overall I've enjoyed seeing the new designs as they've been released.

Cedar City



Tucson



Tijuana



Durban, South Africa



Barranquilla, Columbia.



Concepción, Chilé.

Those are really cool ones.
I really like the Tijuana one the best
 

Duck Rodgers

Well-Known Member
Guaranteed the Tijuana tourism board is already running that temple picture on the front of their brochure. It almost convinces you that the city isn't a giant dirt pit. I like it.
 

infection

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Bumping this a bit. There've been a couple new additions that I think have good architecture:

Arequipa, Peru


Fortaleza, Brazil


Port-au-Prince, Haiti


I actually really like the Haiti one. I know it’s pretty basic but it’s quite sleek. In the late 90s to early 2000s, the church began construction of an unprecedented number of temples. To facilitate this, there was one particular design that was about 10,700 square feet that was used in many locations. This was quite efficient as it was able to bring temples to many places that did not have one near by, but aesthetically they’re fairly underwhelming. I suppose the biggest thing I can’t get past is the awkward assemytry. The Haiti Temple, however, is just barely over 10,000 square feet, smaller than the other ones, and I think they knocked it out of the park.
 

infection

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Three-year bump here. They've diversified a number of newer temples and I'll post a couple samples of those.

Richmond, Virginia:



Lima, Peru (#2):



Taylorsville, Utah (my personal fav):



Phnom Penh, Cambodia:



Neiafu, Tonga:

 

bigb

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It’s weird driving by that spot in Taylorsville. That stake center was there when I was a kid in that area. I played softball on that field. Probably played basketball in the gym too. Now the building is gone and they’re going to put a temple there.
one of the jobs I’m doing down in St. George is lIke 8 blocks from the new Red Cliffs Temple down there. Too bad I’ll be long done before they even get close to starting it.
 

infection

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It’s weird driving by that spot in Taylorsville. That stake center was there when I was a kid in that area. I played softball on that field. Probably played basketball in the gym too. Now the building is gone and they’re going to put a temple there.
one of the jobs I’m doing down in St. George is lIke 8 blocks from the new Red Cliffs Temple down there. Too bad I’ll be long done before they even get close to starting it.
You’re going to St. George? Dang. I gave a referral for someone who was looking for work in Bountiful of SL.
 
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