Archive for the ‘Transformations’ Category

Anshe Emet Synagogue

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

L’Dor v’ Dor, is both the religious and artistic foundation of the synagogues transformation. While preserving the existing Ark, stained glass and spatial volume, the design incorporates Judaica both literal and symbolic, dynamically changing the character of the prayer spaces.

Reorienting the Sanctuary to face East allows for discreet entries and a new interactive Bimah that is surrounded by congregants. The 613 strands of multiple dichroic triangles are magically in motion and reduce the scale of the space. A spiral of climbing Hebrew letters, quoting the prayer “lift up our eyes…”, is suspended over the Torah readers table. This artwork was created by Judaica Artists Presentations Gallery—Michael Berkowicz and Bonnie Srolovitz.

The existing Chapel is small, has an institutional character and is not accessible. This space will become a new, high tech, flexible Multi-Purpose room “H’Makor”, the Source.

The new 300 seat Chapel offers a much different feel than the Sanctuary with a dialogue between the West Elevation [relocating their existing 12 tribe stained glass windows] and the white, sculpturally contrasting East Wall (by Judaica Artists Presentations Gallery). The Ark is flanked by two familiar prayers that are fragmented Seiferot, needing to be reconstructed.

H’Derech ‘The Way’ reimagines the current circulation corridor as a meaningful entry experience. From the main entry, all synagogue functions are accentuated by a new circulation element that begins at a new covered entry and culminates at the Sanctuary doors. ‘The Way’, with seating alcoves and coffee bar, encourages socializing and schmoozing and parallels a biblically planted ceremonial court.

The new public face of the congregation is a ‘Western Wall’, a gently undulating sun shade that is inspired by the Torah being read on the Reader’s Table. Continuing with the Torah theme a medallion relief, mirroring the existing Ark doors is underscored with the ‘Ma Tovu’ prayer. As perceived from the public approach, this new façade expresses the welcoming nature of the congregation and it’s community presence in this rapidly changing neighborhood. Security, parking, pedestrian approach and covered pick-up/ drop-off are all incorporated in the new design.

The project will be built in phases.

Temple Sinai of Bergen County

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Addition and full renovation of a 35,000 sf, 600 family congregation on a very tight site that straddled two municipalities with major zoning and bulk restrictions. The existing sanctuary had a courtroom-like character and the school was overcrowded and poorly configured.

Taking advantage of the sloping site with entries on 2 different levels, a new southern edged addition was integrated with and built into the sloping front yard creating an appropriate entry for the lower, parking and drop-off level and added needed classrooms and storage.

The entire eastern sanctuary wall was demolished and transformed into a translucent light infused element. A multi-leveled Bimah allowed graceful handicapped accessibility and an intimate connection to the congregation. The ceiling with its special ceiling expanding Mogen David light fixture motif, provide a strong visual bonding with the adjacent social spaces, providing a strong connection social during the High Holy Days. The new front elevation and major exposure was envisioned as an abstracted menorah and new public image, announcing the positive growth and future to all members and passersbys.

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,