A few months ago, I was humbled to learn that the Oklahoma City Temple won the 2019 Pinnacle Award of Excellence for Commercial Exterior from the Natural Stone Institute. I had the privilege of serving as the Project Manager / Project Architect for this project while employed at VCBO Architecture. Congratulations to all who were involved on this beautiful project!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints view the essential idea of a temple as that of a place specially set apart for service regarded as sacred. This condition of excellence was a nation’s offering unto the Lord. It was in every respect the best the people could give; it is a structure erected as the house of the Lord.
The exterior of the 15,500 square foot Oklahoma City LDS temple was redesigned to improve the overall massing, entry, and tower of the structure. The tower’s steeple was raised 10′-0″ from the existing height to better correspond to the revised entry. The cut stone design allowed for thickened cubic base material and incorporated thickened pilasters as well as cubic cornice proﬁles which added depth. The bulky stones at the base of the entrance creates the look of columns ﬂanking the main entrance doors.
The ﬂoor plan was slightly modiﬁed for more efﬁcient use of the building, and ventilation issues were addressed. Working from the air barrier out, it was determined to add 4″ of insulation into the hat channel design and incorporate a mechanical stone setting system.
The client selected the use of Moleanos limestone for its warm color. 40 containers equaling 1,600,000 pounds of cubic blocks of the limestone was shipped from Portugal to China for fabrication, resulting in 350,000 pounds of ﬁnished stone.
The exterior design incorporates local architecture, culture, and motifs to give the temple a tie to its geographic location. Classical architectural elements such as the egg and dart, rosettes, and acanthus leaves were used throughout the building. Speciﬁc regional motifs of wheat and the Indian Blanket wildﬂower were selected to root the building in its surroundings and local community.
“Beautiful sculptural blocks of limestone are so tailored, crisp and clean. This faith makes a point of cladding their temples in stone and should be celebrated. Control and execution are well done. This temple looks like it has been here forever, and it will be. Extremely challenging for both the supplier and installer.”
For more information visit: