Philadelphia LDS Temple Architecture Recognized with Its First Award

The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) was recently presented its first award by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA). The temple was honored with the inaugural Trumbauer Award for Excellence in the category of Contemporary Classicism in Commercial / Institutional / Civic.

The ICAA announced the awards on Wednesday, November 9th at an awards ceremony at The Union League of Philadelphia. This new awards program recognizes the work of individuals and firms to preserve and advance the classical tradition in the greater Philadelphia area.

The LDS Temple, located downtown on 1739 Vine Street, is the first Mormon temple in Pennsylvania and serves more than 40,000 members. Designed jointly by Perkins + Will and FFKR Architects, the temple is the visual focus of the project site. Principal Helen Diemer, along with Emad Hasan and Ryan Conover, worked with the firms to design a lighting system that highlights the building’s grandeur and neoclassical architecture.

The Philadelphia LDS Temple is a particularly spectacular nighttime sight. From the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Vine Street, the building’s illumination complements that of the Philadelphia Free Library and Family Court. Helen, Emad and Ryan selected ground and pole-mounted LED luminaires to wash the exterior of the building in a warm glow. They added depth to the architecture with accent lighting on the second level and cornice line. Dimmable LEDs allow for fine-tuning of the lighting levels and effects on site.

At the base of each tower level, linear and spot LED lights emphasize the towers’ setbacks and draw the eye upwards toward the Angel Moroni statue standing atop the east tower. The statue’s beauty is illuminated by narrow-focus, metal halide accent lights tucked within the tree bosque and on the roof.

Most Mormon temples around the world have a more modern appearance, with long, vertical lines and minimal ornamentation. The Philadelphia LDS Temple is the first neoclassical temple and one of few set within an urban environment. The additional detailing and dimension in the architecture allowed TLP to provide more drama and layers of light to the façade than that of other temples.

We are proud to have been a part of this ground-breaking project that has added even more vibrancy and beauty to the City of Philadelphia. Congratulations to the entire design team on the building’s recent recognition by the ICAA.

Philadelphia Pennsylvania LDS Temple

Photography by Jered E. Widmer