Bringing Vision to Life Through Architecture and Design of Paris France Temple

Bringing Vision to Life Through Architecture and Design of Paris France Temple

Beauty's Backstory

Design teams from Salt Lake City and France worked together to ensure that the new Paris France Temple reflected the history and culture of the area. “This was a tremendous group effort,” said Bill Williams, director of temple design for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “It is our greatest hope that it will be seen as an asset and bless the lives of those in the community.”

Building materials for the 44,175-square-foot temple constructed of reinforced concrete complement the significant history of the region. The exterior of the temple is dressed in warm-toned Portuguese limestone reflective of material used on building exteriors in the region, giving it a sense of nobility and grandeur.

 

The clear glass made in France and colorful art glass windows feature a variety of floral patterns. The motifs are reflective of plants native to France and are based on the floral designs of artist Claude Monet’s gardens such as lilies, cornflowers, lilacs and hollyhocks.

“When people look at the windows, we wanted them to feel as if they were in a French garden. We took inspiration from the fleur de lis,” the national symbol of France that represents purity and virtue, said Tom Holdman of Utah-based Holdman Studios.

Gardens surrounding the temple complement the art glass and architecture. “French design professionals aided in creating a garden that has a feeling of peace and reverence associated with the temple,” said Kevin Shields, senior landscape architect for the temple. Inspiration was even taken from the nearby gardens of the world-famous Palace of Versailles, home to Louis XIV.

The interior features stone flooring and custom-designed carpeting. Hardwood and floral elements match the floral features from the art glass. The doors are stained American cherry wood with cast bronze door hardware in classic French design. Custom lighting can be found throughout the temple, including a gold chandelier in the celestial room with Swarovski crystals.

Unlike other Mormon temples, the Paris France Temple does not have an angel Moroni atop the temple. “There were some height restrictions in our neighborhood,” said Ramon Lopez Martinez, project manager of the temple project. “However, we have a Christus statue … made of stone in Italy, and it’s a great addition to our beautiful garden.”

“And to have this Christus in the garden of the temple, it’s to testify that we are a Christian church and that we believe in Christ and we know that [He] is our Savior and Redeemer,” said member Louis Marie Liebard.

“I hope that all my children can come in this place and that they can feel the Spirit of the Lord,” said Cybale Leibard. “I can imagine that this place will be a blessing for my family and all my children, my grandchildren and lots of people.”

Framed art depicting Heavenly Father’s creations and the life of His Son, Jesus Christ, can be found throughout the temple. Several original pieces are also featured from artists Nicholas Coleman, Glenda Gleave, Mary Sauer and Elspeth Young.

“Their natural eyes will see a beautiful building with an architecture, a design that blends into the French culture, and it will say it’s very French. But I think then they will look with a special eye and realize that there is a feeling about it. It’s not just a beautiful building, but there is a feeling of peace when you go there,” explained Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop, the first General Authority of the Church from France.

“This is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life,” expressed member Delphine Magalhaes. “I really feel it like a presence, God’s love, and I’m really touched by the fact that I can come here now with my husband and my family in the future.”

The closest temples French Mormons have attended in the past are in Frankfurt, Germany; The Hague, Netherlands; and Bern, Switzerland.

Bishop Caussé said his parents would take him to the temple when he was a child. “We would go to the temple every year, and it was a two-day trip to get to the temple in Switzerland.”

The Paris France Temple will be dedicated on Sunday, May 21, 2017. It will be the 156th operating temple of the Church worldwide.

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