Some of the detail on the exterior of the Gurdwara
Inside the main prayer hall
The Shri Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Saddington Street, Gravesend, is one of the largest Sikh temples in the UK. The building, which is able to house 1,200 worshippers, includes a grand entrance lobby, three prayer halls, two kitchens and associated Langar halls for serving traditional food, a lecture theatre, computer room, crèche and library.
The architectural style reflects the design of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, and boasts amazing hand-crafted stonework, and colourful stained glass windows and interior. To ensure that all the detailing of the stone was in keeping with the traditional style of the Gurdwara and that it met the religious requirements of the community, the marble and granite for the building was all produced and carved in India. Stonemasons from India worked for two years on the temple which has been clad inside and out with granite and marble.
People will be seated on the floor in many parts of the building, and underfloor heating is used to make sure it is comfortable. Mechanical ventilation systems provide warmth and fresh air when large parties of people are using the various parts of the temple, and heat recovery minimizes carbon emissions in highly used areas.
Daylighting is used wherever possible, but electric lighting has been carefully integrated internally and externally. The beautifully decorated internal surfaces of the prayer hall domes are floodlit from sources around the rim. External architectural features are picked out by narrow spotlights, and special lighting is provided for the fountains and flagpole at the front.