Proj Overview

Project Overview

The new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Temple in Tucson, Ariz., stands as a welcoming beacon against the surrounding landscape. The designers selected precast concrete at the outset of the project because they knew it would allow them to accommodate many of the design and construction goals within the budget.

The temple is one-story building, but the architect wanted the appearance of a taller, more substantial structure. They also envisioned an Art Deco design featuring subtle stepping and textural elements, which they knew they could achieve using precast concrete.

Stepping back

The final design of the cladding used formed precast concrete panels with Art Deco “stepping-back” detailing that gives the building a sense of height. Ornamentation recessed into the precast concrete panels includes interlocking circles and subtle reference to desert cacti. A deep, three-dimensional (3D) raking pattern in the frieze portion of the horizontal moldings and bands adds further detail to the facade.

The complex details in the cladding facade contribute to a soaring, elegant structure with a dynamic appearance that shifts as the desert sun casts shadows throughout the day. Elements expressed in wood and stone on the interior of the temple are also mimicked on the exterior using precast concrete and art glass.

Along with delivering the desired design, the architect’s choice of precast concrete helped accommodate the tight construction schedule. The precast concrete company joined the project early in the design phase, and the precaster was able to use the 3D model to profile the front and backside of the panels, which saved time in the shop-drawing phase and expedited the overall construction schedule.


2019 PCI Design AwardsReligious Structure Honorable Mention
2020 PCI Design AwardsBuilding Award: Best Religious Structure
Project Team


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah

PCI-Certified Precast Concrete Producer

Gate Precast Company, Hillsboro, Tex.

Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer

Stehler Structural Engineering, St. Paul, Minn.


FFKR Architects, Salt Lake City, Utah

Engineer of Record

ARW Engineers, Ogden, Utah

General Contractor

Big-D Construction, Salt Lake City, Utah

Photo Credits

Gate Precast Company, Intellectual Reserve, Inc., and FFKR Architects

Key Project Attributes

  • A stepping-back design gives the structure a sense of rising and height.
  • A raking pattern in the frieze and ornamental designs recessed into the precast concrete cladding generate shifting shadows throughout the day.
  • Interlocking circles and abstract cacti imagery tie the design to the Arizona landscape.

Project/Precast Scope

  • Create a precast concrete cladding facade for a one-story religious temple.
  • The project included 213 precast concrete panels.
  • Precast concrete erection was completed in six months.
  • Project cost: Withheld
  • Project size: 38,216 ft2