The sun sets over the construction site for the Shrine of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá in ʻAkká, Israel. ʻAbdu'l-Bahá is the son of Baháʼu'lláh, the prophet and founder of the Baháʼí Faith, and ʻAbdu'l-Bahá was the leader of the Faith following Baháʼu'lláh's passing. While ʻAbdu'l-Bahá does not have the station of a prophet, Baháʼís regard him as 'The Perfect Exemplar'; an ideal of how humanity should strive to act. Construction of the Shrine was announced in April of 2018, and work began in 2019. It is expected to be completed by 2023. The design concept for the Shrine of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá. The Shrine itself is located in the very center, and the rest of the structure is gardens that will slope up and over the building. (Architectural Design Copyright © Bahá'í International Community) A base level of gravel is spread over the site in late October 2019. The area where the Shrine is being built is a marsh, so precautions had to be taken early in the project to stabilize the ground, so that heavy machinery wouldn't sink during the rainy season. Archaeologists from the Israeli Antiquities Authority search for any evidence that the construction site has historical significance in November of 2019. Most of Israel contains ruins or other archaeological artifacts, so the project would only be halted if human remains were found. A bucket holds coins dating back to the Roman empire found by the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA). Also found by the IAA were walls that indicate the site could have been a temple at some point. The abandoned dig site in December 2019 after the Israeli Antiquities Authority failed to find any important artifacts. With the archaelogical surveys complete, construction can now begin. With approval from the government for the foundations in hand, ground is broken and the first structural pile is laid on 9 December 2019. Piling work continues at the site. Over the course of a year, more than 1,500 piles will be placed. This is done by first drilling a hole 15 meters deep, then placing a metal pile into the hole and filling it with concrete. With the first row of piles laid by the end of December 2019, work commences on excavating the dirt around the dried piles, and casting a larger concrete foundation slab. By March of 2020, piles for the central Shrine area and outer walls have been laid, and waterproofing has been laid in preparation for the first foundation concrete pour. In May of 2020, work begins on testing forms to cast the roof, which will consist of nearly 100 triangular sections. A staff of the Baháʼí World Centre examines formwork with the Israeli general contractor at the edge of the construction site. The first level of the foundation is poured for the central Shrine area. Baháʼí World Centre staff check that all of the rebar in the central Shrine area match the architectural drawings prior to the second foundation pour in September 2020. An Israeli worker pours concrete during the all-night pour for the second, and final, level of the central foundation. The concrete pour took 12 hours, and had to take place at night because of the amount of concrete involved. Workers slowly pour the second layer of the foundation on September 15, 2020. The sun rises over the completed foundation for the Shrine of 'Abdu'l-Bahá on 16 September 2020. Workers lay rebar for the outer areas of the site, where a sloping concrete base will be poured and dirt added so gardens can eventually be grown. In Ashkelon, Israel, factory workers weld together sections of formwork that will be used to shape the massive 10 meter x 10 meter wall sections. This formwork will be used ten times, to produce large walls to the east and west of the Shrine. The Israeli general contractor for the project measures the completed formwork, to check it is up to the demanding specifications required for the project. An Israeli worker lays wooden forms that will be used to shape the ground level of the Shrine on 27 December 2020. The ground level will be elevated six meters above sea level (five meters above the existing ground level). This was done to account for the worst possible outcome of climate change induced sea-level rise. A planter bed is built next to the Shrine in late January 2021. With the ground level of the Shrine poured, work begins on the walls to the north, south, east, and west of the Shrine in February 2021. Pictured here is the northeastern portal wall. By April of 2021, the four outer portal walls have been mostly finished, and work has begun on the inner Shrine and outer plaza wall sections. Bright yellow formwork has been placed, and one section of the wall will be poured weekly over the next few months.