Archive for the ‘Portfolio’ Category

Temple Israel

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

The second largest Reform Congregation with over 3,000 members had a 100,000 sf facility with a large Sanctuary that was very cold, austere and focused on a non-inspirational Bimah. A historic Ark, reminiscent of the travelling Ark of the Tabernacle, that was carried from an earlier building, was the only element worth preserving.

With some very simple ideas including introducing natural and artificial light and creating a niche for the historic Ark, the entire focus of the sanctuary was transformed into a moving, spiritual background. The addition of the Tessarae art of Efram Weitzman,

St. Paul Lutheran Church

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

The project included the renovation and addition to the 100-year-old St. Paul Lutheran Church. A new foyer, fellowship hall, kitchen, choir room, Sunday school classrooms, ladies aid room, and teen room were added to support worship and outreach ministries. Harding Partners integrated the addition seamlessly into the existing church building. At the outset of design, Harding Partners met with the engineering consultants to identify cost effective strategies to maximize the client’s budget. Modular, residential heating and air conditioning units were utilized for economy. Wood framing was selected as the structural system for the addition due to the local abundance of Amish carpenters. Wood trusses, mircolam beams, and wood truss joists were used throughout. The cost-effective solutions allowed the project to meet the project budget and provided additional functionality that members of the congregation were ecstatic about.

Congregation Beth Ahm

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

A Conservative Congregation whose existing 23,000 sf building was designed by Percival Goodman in 1960. A new 13,000 sf addition includes a gallery that redefines the entire building circulation and connects the existing social hall to the new 5,300 sf ballroom, and support spaces, The juxtaposition of these new elements create a courtyard that is the focus of all social activities and insulated from the adjacent highway. Included in the project is a renovation of the existing social hall and foyer, school addition and ADA compliance for the entire building.

Temple Beth Or

Friday, January 15th, 2010

This was my first Synagogue design that was completed in 1978. It is included to demonstrate the timelessness of the design and the recurring themes that have influenced all subsequent synagogue designs.

In this project for a new Reform Temple, we incorporate recurring themes: tradition, synthesis, indigenous materials, integration, symbolism and culture. As they appear, each strengthens the other, interlocking to create the whole. Seen in context of the themes, architecture now becomes a cultural experience. The architecture of the synagogue takes on traits of Judaism: re-examining and re-interpreting history; applying tradition to the present; questioning. Finally the architecture, like the religion, becomes a commentary for a people, a time, a place.

This Temple is set on a heavily wooded five-acre suburban site which slopes gently away from the road. The synagogue is approached from the east, providing an initial view of the Bimah wall and Ark, the symbolic heart of the building. The public character of the approach dramatically changes at the rear, to a tranquil private space for outdoor activity. The sanctuary seats 220 and can expand into the two level school to accommodate 600 for the High Holy Days.

Sloping roofs are sandwich construction of scribed wood timbers, with a pine veneer on the interior, cedar shingles on the outside and infill of insulation. Brick was selected for its insulating properties, because its indigenous to North Carolina and because of its scale. Wood was selected because of its warmth, because its indigenous to the site and because it recalls the heritage of the wooden synagogues of Eastern Europe. Much like these destroyed synagogues, the Ark is a highly crafted element, a Judaic artifacts that was originally build for Temple Beth El in Detroit, MI in 1867.

Temple Beth El

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Temple Beth El occupies a site adjacent to the entry drive in Sholom Park, a Jewish campus that was developed with a community center as the central facility. The center provides recreational and social community facilities as well as shared educational and meeting spaces for two independent synagogues which flank its approach. The program called for a 350-seat sanctuary, expandable to 1200 for the High Holy Days. This design attempts to integrate the expansion space so that all congregants feel equally a part of the worship community, regardless of where they are seated. Also included in the program was a small chapel, social hall, meeting rooms, and administrative offices.

Situated in the traditional manner, oriented toward the east on top of a hill, the synagogue is reached via a circular drive and promenade, which arrive at the first quadrant [vehicular drop-off] of a four-quadrant plan. The other quadrants, a ceremonial court which serves as a focus for the internal circulation and various ancillary functions, the sanctuary and the social hall, are connected by a circulation spine which terminates at an overlook and pedestrian connection to the community center.

The focus of the new sanctuary – an historic Ark dating from the early 1920’s – inspired the cast stone and stucco vocabulary of the exterior and helped shape the interior space, giving the building a quiet classical character. Other notable features include the sanctuary’s thrust sky lit Bimah and unique ceiling vault. This vault, which extends beyond the boundaries of the room, further unifies the High Holiday worship experience, and floods the space with light from the clerestories at the spring point of the vault on either side. The careful attention given to both natural and artificial lighting, foster dramatic spatial changes reflecting nature’s daily cycle, thereby reinforcing the synagogue’s spiritual character and making it warm and inviting at all times.

Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

The design of the sanctuary addition presented a challenging design problem. While the new building would be connected to an existing structure, the client wanted the addition to have a presence and identity appropriate to a place of contemporary worship. As with any addition it was necessary to address existing materials and scale relationships. The design also had to accommodate the constraints imposed by a limited budget. The massing of the building is derived from imagery of an open bible. Tall, north-facing clerestory windows introduce daylight into major spaces, enhancing the worship experience. The fan-shaped seating configuration wraps around the platform fostering a sense of intimacy within the congregation. The foyer/gathering space opens to the landscaped courtyard and allows the activity to spill outside in temperate weather. At night indirect lighting visible through the clerestory windows creates a symbolic beacon for the community.

Mumford Hall – Salvation Army College for Officer Training

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

The project was to renovate and expand an existing resident hall on The Salvation Army College for Officer Training campus. Key considerations were the client’s modest budget and stringent construction schedule. The program included modernizing all apartment units, making the building fully accessible, and developing the dining area to accommodate large groups of cadets, their families and guests. Large, north-facing windows connect the Dining Hall to the courtyard while maximizing natural light and contributing to an overall sustainable strategy. The design effort also focused on enhancing the cadets’ quality of life by making each apartment practical and aesthetically pleasing. Selected units were made fully accessible, and all units featured new kitchens, bathrooms, and study areas. Walls, floors, and ceilings were refurbished throughout the building. Mechanical and plumbing systems were completely replaced. This project is currently under construction and is on track for LEED Certification. The project utilizes common sense sustainable practices that provide a short-term payback period and long-term operational cost savings.

American Hebrew Academy

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

A major endowment has been made to create a boarding school for 800 students in rural North Carolina with a strong commitment to academic excellence and religious tradition. One hundred acres of rolling woodlands have been purchased and the program has been developed to match the academic and religious aspirations to the natural character of the site.

Historically the link between religion and study has been strong. Campus plans often focus around a chapel or worship center and that concept is the primary generator of this Master Plan Concept. At the American Hebrew Academy the Synagogue or Bet Midrash will be the essence of the campus. Located at the rural center of the campus at the landing of the central ravine on the lakeside inlet, the Bet Midrash, like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem forms the, spiritual and spatial heart of the Academy. From the prayer and study centre, a gently curving wall of Jerusalem stone climbs the northern ridge to the secured entrance, defining terraces for the more specialized academic buildings and creating a pedestrian street [with all vehicular traffic and utilities hidden below] reminiscent of old Jerusalem.

To the south of the Bet Midrash, climbing the more gentle ridges along the lakeside, the student homes catch the prevailing southeastern breezes as they cluster along narrow streets.

The Bet Midrash defines an intimately scaled plaza at the heart of the campus. Central in plan as well as function, the plaza will be active throughout the day from morning prayer, library study, and services to meal-time dining and continuing circulation to and from classes and residences. The dining hall is located at the north side of the plaza, the first resident homes along the south side and the headmaster and visiting scholars will frame the western edge as it opens onto the lake.

Congregation Anshe Torah

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

A new Temple for the 400 family congregation on the rolling planes outside Plano. The seven acre site is adjacent to a railroad line, car dealership and golf driving range, resulting in an inward focused scheme and creating protected courtyards and controlled views. A water garden in the small court off the sanctuary Bimah provides a shimmering reflections and the quiet sound of water to set the tone for the sanctuary and assures a coherent spiritual experience.

The Master Plan allows for incremental expansion with a strong relationship and connectivity as the congregation grows. The dynamic spiral design creates a strong central focus and encourages incremental growth with a clear and organized relationship.

Temple Beth El

Monday, January 4th, 2010

A large Reform Congregation was built in multiple phases and architectural styles, a diverse complex, creating a confusing image, inefficient and difficult circulation pattern with many spaces inaccessible for the handicapped, dated and failing mechanical systems, no clear drop-off or vehicular entry. There was also a need to accommodate expanding programs for new functional requirements including growing educational and social activities. Multiple design ideas and strategies were presented and discussed. Strong and exciting concepts were discovered and explored, yielding a powerful Master Plan.