Baha\’i House of Worship in Ashkabad, Turkmenistan

In 1996 while a student at the University of Virginia school of architecture, I worked on a research project reconstructing a CADD model of Baha\’i House of Worship in Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan. This was the first House of Worship built by the Baha\’is. Unfortunatly after being turned into an art museum by the Soviets, it was damaged by an earthquake and eventually demolished.

I did a really poor job. Though, at the time, the tools were poor. I had a rather muddled idea of what I was doing and not a lot of proficiency with the techniques of producing architectural drawings, models or whatever.

I think my plan was to create the cadd model and then write a decent paper to accompany it. In the end I had a lousy model and no paper… oh well. I\’m a computer programmer now.


The project was done in my last semester there and hosted as a website on the university\’s computers. But as I was graduating, my server space was going away and the only real option for backing up the 25 megs or whatever of photos and text was a Zip disk. Which I\’ve only ever found one or two readers for since then. And I think is corrupted.

Imagine my surprise today when searching for the correct spelling if Ishkabad to put on one of the few photos I have of the project I found that has been hosting my project all along. I never found it I guess because they spelled my name wrong! Mostly I wanted the bibliography and now I\’ve got it.

What a relief, after almost 10 years of thinking this research was essentially lost, I\’ve got it again.

in Charlottesville, Va (but mentally in old Ishkabad)
Jeff Lavezzo