The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Draper Utah Temple is a modern structure that was conceived from the ground up and designed specifically for this site. FFKR Architects worked closely with design architects from the LDS Church to deliver a temple that was comparatively smaller to those previously built in Utah. The Draper Temple, in conjunction with a separate temple project in South Jordan, Utah, was meant to alleviate the influx of temple patrons at the nearby Jordan River Temple.
The temple has a lower level and two upper levels with mechanical, building support, baptistry and ordinance rooms. Patrons can enter the baptistry through a monumental secondary entrance on the north at ground level. The main floor is accessed by a bronze main entry door on the east through a covered portico.
The temple reflects a radial design. The Celestial Room, at the heart of the building, is expressed vertically through the upright design of the central building massing and tower crowning overhead, which is topped by a gold-leafed statuary angel iconic to LDS temples. Glass windows are generously located throughout, emphasizing the vertical nature of the building and contrasting the large massing that grounds the corners of the building. The exterior is clad in soft gray granite with intricate detailing and workmanship. The craftsmanship is carried throughout the interior with the use of granites, exotic woods and fine textiles that complement the intuitive interior furnishings design.
Nestled in Corner Canyon in the southeast foothills of the Salt Lake Valley, this temple along with the Oquirrh Temple in South Jordan will ease pressure on the Jordan River Utah Temple. It will serve approximately 60,000 church members in the Draper area. The Draper Temple will be the 129th operating temple in the world, the 12th in Utah and the third in Salt Lake County.
It also includes some unique artwork, including panoramic Rocky Mountain scenery in two of its ordinance rooms by Utah artist Linda Curley Christensen and Colorado artists Keith Bond. Most historic is a 1922 oil painting that used to hang in the former Draper Tabernacle, depicting the Angel Moroni’s visit to church founder Joseph Smith to deliver the Golden Plates.
All in the Details
The Draper Temple features some interior woodwork made from African wood and limestone on the floors from France. White granite in the temple is from China. There’s also a recurring design of the sego lily, Utah’s state flower, in art-glass by Utah artist Tom Holdman (who also did the temple’s window art-glass.) On average during construction, a fleet of 150 craftsmen a day were on the temple site.
The Draper Temple is described as “medium-sized,” among the church’s other temples. It is about one-fourth the size of the Salt Lake Temple, at 58,300-square-feet. It is approximate in size to the Rexburg, Idaho Temple and smaller than the Jordan River or Bountiful temple.
Light and Bright
The Celestial Room, at the heart of the building, is expressed vertically through the upright design of the central building massing and tower crowning overhead, which is topped by a gold-leafed statuary angel iconic to LDS temples. The Draper Temple includes a bounty of natural light coming in through windows, architects and church leaders have tried to maximize that. During the Open House a group visitors to the temple “were overwhelmed by the beauty and the light” inside.