Bahá’í Temple of South America,named recipient of the RAIC Innovation in Architecture Award

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Siamak Hariri - David Pontarini. ​Hariri Pontarini Architects

Hariri Pontarini Architects is a Canadian firm founded by Siamak Hariri and David Pontarini founded in Toronto in 1994. Today, the practice is formed by 130 people.

Over the past 25 years, their work has garnered the firm over 75 national and international awards, including being the recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2013 Architectural Firm Award. Most recently, they received the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture for Casey House.

Siamak Hariri, founding Partner, holds deep respect for the transformative potential of architecture. He specializes in creating works of enduring value, for clients seeking to lever change through design. Siamak brings to every project a profound interest in light, form, site, material, and craft.  His portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized public and private buildings has won over 50 awards, including the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, the 2010 World Architecture Best Unbuilt Civic Building Award, and the 2013 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Architectural Firm Award.

David Pontarini, founding Partner, focuses on building better cities through quality urban developments that channel the best aspects of their site and program into finely executed architectural and public realm designs. Over the past 30 years, he has built an award-winning portfolio of complex, variously scaled urban high-rise and mixed-use developments in cities across Canada and the United States. David’s design-led approach to smart development solutions together with his understanding of urban issues contribute to his reputation as one of Toronto’s leading architects and to the recognition of HPA, by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, as winners of the 2013 Architectural Firm Award.


Siamak Hariri.- Born in Bonn, Germany, Siamak was educated at the University of Waterloo and Yale University where he completed a Master of Architecture. He has taught at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto, as well as been a lecturer and guest critic for numerous organizations across North America. 

Siamak sits on the board of the Design Exchange and the Rosehill Vision Committee and sat on the advisory board of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Contemporary Culture, the Toronto Community Foundation and was a member of Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel from 2005-2010. He has taught studios at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto and has been a lecturer, guest critic and jury member for numerous organizations across North America and Europe.

Siamak Hariri is a founding Partner of Hariri Pontarini Architects. His portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized buildings has won over 70 awards, including two Governor General’s Medal in Architecture and, with his Partner David Pontarini, the 2013 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Architectural Firm Award. In 2016, he gave a TED talk entitled How do you build a sacred space that has garnered over 1.3 million views and was celebrated as one of Canada’s Artists who mattered most by the Globe and Mail.

One of Siamak’s earliest projects, the Canadian headquarters of McKinsey & Company, is the youngest building to ever receive City of Toronto heritage land-mark designation. Since then, he has established a career in creating institutional and cultural projects of international acclaim, including the Governor General’s medal winning Schulich School of Business for York University and the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University that has been recognized with the 2016 Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award, the American Institute of Architects’ Educational Facility Design Award of Excellence, and the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s Award for Design Excellence in Architecture.

In the fall of 2016, Siamak completed a project he began in 2003, the Bahá’í Temple of South America, located in Santiago, Chile, the last of the Bahá’í continental temples. Won through an international call and a rigorous design competition (185 entries from 80 countries) the Temple has quickly become a continental landmark and attractor at the foothill of the Andes. It has won many of the top architecture awards including the AIA Honors Award, the OAA Design Excellence Award, the RAIC Innovation Award, the Canadian Architect’s Award of Excellence; the International Property Awards, and was profiled by National Geographic Magazine. The Temple has welcomed 1.4 million visitors since the opening and sees upwards of 36,000 people on some weekends.

In 2017, Siamak completed Casey House in Toronto which has since received the Governor General’s Medal, the Lieutenant Governor Award, and the OAA Design Excellence Award.




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