In anticipation of the 10-day open house of the Durban South Africa Temple, which begins on Wednesday, the first interior photos of the temple have been released to the public. The temple will be dedicated on Sunday, February 16, 2020 in three sessions, and will be broadcast to select meetinghouses in the temple district.
A press release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints included the following details about the temple's location, design, and landscape.
The Durban South Africa Temple is located about 12 miles north of the Durban city center, in the new and developing Izinga neighborhood. The temple is situated atop a beautiful grassy knoll with unobstructed views of the sugarcane fields for which the area is known. In the other direction, the temple is surrounded by a residential neighborhood along the rolling coastal hills. The homes are characterized by earthy colors, red clay tile roofs, and wood and stone accents.
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.
Detailed décor in the Durban South Africa Temple. © 2020 BY INTELLECTUAL RESERVE, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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.
Beautiful plants, flowers, and trees are located throughout the grounds of the Durban South Africa Temple. © 2020 BY INTELLECTUAL RESERVE, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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 grand staircase in the Durban South Africa Temple. © 2020 BY INTELLECTUAL RESERVE, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
The temple also features more than 50 exquisite art pieces, including many scenes from the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and several pieces depicting African landscapes. The temple walls are adorned with scenes of sunsets, rivers, waterfalls, African wildlife, and indigenous flora and fauna.
See additional photos below.