The 10-day open house for the Durban South Africa Temple began yesterday on January 22, 2020. In celebration of the open house, the first photographs of the interior have been released to the public.
The temple design was inspired by the buildings of downtown Durban. The corners of the building and tower employ simple and elegant detail, while fluted stone panels accent the window openings. In the center of the fluting, simple geometric carvings highlight the African roots of the region. Similar to the houses in the surrounding neighborhood, the temple has a pitched red clay tile roof.
The indigenous landscaping brings color and life to the temple grounds. The entire site is 14.49 acres. More than 800 trees dot the grounds, including symbolic king palms and flowering trees such as the coral tree, with its vibrant red flowers. Among the 2,800 square meters of lawn are thousands of shrubs, vines and flowers, including South African aloes that flower in winter and the striking strelitzia juncea, well known in the region. In addition, decorative motifs of the king protea, the national flower of South Africa, have been used around the temple on the entry gates, stone benches and art glass.
Consistent with the exterior of the building, the interior walls have recessive steps that offer shadow lines and detailing. Sapele mahogany has been used for the millwork, casework and doors, with diamond-shaped patterns that highlight the grain of the wood. Other carved motifs have been included throughout the temple to highlight altars, pew seating and the entry desk.
The rugs are custom-made and imported. They have a South African basket-weaving design and are in gold, white and cream colors. The Italian marble flooring contains tribal geometric patterns to accentuate the African theme throughout the temple.
The open house begins Wednesday, January 22, and goes through Saturday, February 1, 2020, with a break on Sunday, January 26. The temple is located at 2 Izinga Drive, Izinga Ridge 4021 Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal.
Church leaders will dedicate the Durban South Africa Temple on Sunday, February 16, 2020, in three sessions, at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m. All dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to select meetinghouses in the temple district, so Latter-day Saints across the temple district (consisting of the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa and the countries of Lesotho and Mozambique) may participate in the services. A youth devotional led by Church leaders will take place the evening prior to the dedication, in a meetinghouse close to the temple. The devotional will also be broadcast to other select meetinghouses in the temple district.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.