Commendations

michael-siegel-letter

Beth Israel Center
Michael Landau and Paul Harding’s approach reflects a carefully weighted balance of creative genius and practical reality. Their professional styles complement each other, and they form a symbiotic consulting team.

Michael and Paul led Beth Israel Center thorough an open, interactive feasibility process that included the development committee, the synagogue leadership, and the entire congregational membership. They offer a wealth of past experience in synagogue design, and they remained sensitive to the fragile boundary between our desire for change and our strong ties to the past. Under their guidance, we met our timeline, and we were able to incorporate current and future synagogue trends as we studied the specific challenges and opportunities of our aging building and complicated site.

With Michael and Paul’s attentive, professional support, we developed a range of renovation scenarios that allowed us to envision solutions for our spiritual and programmatic needs – and articulate our expansion priorities to the wider Madison community. Most important, we continued to honor environmental and accessibility concerns while moving our project forward with alternative implementation strategies and realistic cost projections.
- Judy Karofsky, Chair, Beth Israel Center Development Committee – Madison, WI

Temple Beth El
“The sanctuary is a catalyst. People really like it. They feel ‘spiritual’ though they don’t necessarily know why.”

‘When you look at the exterior you know you are in the presence of a strong contemporary building, and then you enter through the present and suddenly you are looking down to the past, the focal point – the ancient Torah. The building is deeply respectful but also deeply modern.”
– IFRAA Honor Award Jury

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church
“This project has a wonderful use of light, simple forms, and fits the rural setting. The quality of light and interior transparency is especially uplifting.”
– Millennium Faith and Form/IFRAA Religious Architecture Award Jury

“Having shared our experiences and listened to the needs of the congregation, Mr. Harding designed a creative facility that exceeds our expectations. The openness, the sight lines, and the original stained glass window in the fellowship hall are simply spectacular.”
– Alfonso Thruman, Trustee and Building Committee Chairman

Congregation Micah
“The people of the Congregation Micah have succeeded in a holy task. They have not only commissioned and nurtured an extraordinary example of religious architecture; they also have built a sanctuary for our people, a depository for our memories, and a home that nurtures the Jewish spirit.”
– Rabbi James Brandt

“Arriving at the site I stood alone at what will be the building entry and said aloud, ‘He did it. He actually did it!’. ‘He’ of course is our architect. ‘It’ is what seemed at the time to be an impossible task.”
– Howard Stringer, Congregation President

“Yesterday I stood in front of the beautiful, circular ark, the concrete core which supports the entire sanctuary structure, and I marveled at the closeness of every one of the seats. The intimacy, even in so large a structure, is still there.”
– Rabbi Ken Kanter

Chicago Culture Center
“We commend the variety of worship spaces and particularly appreciate the simplicity of the primary gathering space. Very successful building produced on a very limited budget.”
IFRAA Religious Architecture Award Jury

Hevreh of Southern Berkshire
“We love our Hevreh building. Thanks for making it happen.”
- Priscilla and Rabbi Jack Stern, Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, Great Barrington, MA

“As wonderful as the building was when we looked at it a few weeks ago, I must tell you, it comes alive when it is filled with 400 proud congregants. The nuance of design, in particular the entrance to the sanctuary is subtle yet powerful. When I was in Israel I remember seeing one of the oldest synagogues which was located in a cave. That cave seemed echoed in that entrance. Then, when you walk in, what a surprise! The room soars. It is really wonderful, exciting and expansive yet warm and homey. Bravo!”
- Allan Blau, Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, Great Barrington, MA

Broadview Missionary Baptist Church
“It is exciting to see a well designed building that reflects our vision for the church and our unique needs. We appreciate your efforts to deliver a quality product that considered our budget and schedule.”
– Mr. Harvey Bond, Building Committee Chairman

Southside Tabernacle
“Harding Partners offers the professionalism, expertise, creativity and tenacity required in the timely completion of our project. We found Harding Partners went the extra mile in seeing the project through to completion.”
– Spencer Jones, Senior Pastor