Winner of the Sukkahville 2014 People’s Choice Award
Cloud and Light
By: Louise Shin, Nivin Nabeel and Daniel Bassakyros
As a physical manifestation of God’s presence in the desert, the pillar of light and cloud embodies the Sukkah’s significance of guidance and protection. The use of the recyclable and translucent material Tyvek serves as the skin of the structure, permitting natural light to filter through varying layers of the Sukkah. Furthermore, the unique properties of the Sukkah`s exterior demarcate it as a pillar of cloud by virtue of the sun`s presence on its surface. Four amber filter light shelves are placed at incremental levels, signifying the four kinds of Jews that exist on earth. These four entities permit reflections, washing the interior with an amber glow that indicates the phenomenological aspect of the Sukkah as a pillar of light.
The light shelves are assisted by artificial lights, allowing it to simultaneously serve as a pillar of cloud and light at night. In the times of when the Israelites resided in the desert after the Exodus, God manifested himself as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Therefore, a clear distinction existed between day and night. Cloud & Light as a contemporary interpretation of this traditional dichotomous manifestation is able to unify, thus transcending time. This is the ultimate discourse the contemporary Sukkah has with its setting in an urban environment. Just as the modern city never sleeps, Cloud & Light is able to utilize digital light as the “new fire”, allowing the Sukkah to remain awake eternally.
Shield of David
By: Taller David Dana Arquitectura (David Dana, Ivan Garcia, Ygal Maya, Juan Castañeda, Francisco Lopez)
As contemporary designers our perspective for this project completely repurposes the traditional sukkah, we began exploring primary concepts like: typology, structure, daylighting, & cost. Our conclusions made us think about patterns and layering, we consider that the current architecture debate deals more with relationships, boundaries and energies, in our floorplan the central core element (a tree) represents the Jewish heart surrounded by a series of secondary elements representing other aspects of Jewish history, integrity and tradition.
And finally, we saw an opportunity to approach with a methodology of ornamentation, our proposal “Shield of David” presents a modular & prefabricated design that is based on the hexagram abstraction, the result creates a permeable wood typology, a cluster of integrated stacked units that are easy to assemble.
Honorable Mention: Sukkahville 2014 Design Competition
By: Troy Fawcett
Megillahs borrows the scroll as religious icon representative of Jewish teaching and presents it as a poetic expression of human centricity. Traditionally, scrolls are unrolled to reveal sacred text. Instead of papyrus – an opaque material – the scrolls adopt a loose fiber mesh to allow natural elements to permeate the sukkah. Occupants of the interior – contemplating, conversing, laughing, remembering – fill the pages of the sukkah when viewed from the exterior. The same occupants also share that relationship with the happenings of the exterior, where the surrounding environment filters into the sukkah as a faint scripture. Light, shadows, wind, rain, voices, all make a gentle exodus through the sukkah. The loose fiber mesh on its own offers little respite from these elements, but layered, it begins to screen the incoming atmospheric conditions while retaining the feeling of openness. Like fog, the repeated mesh creates an atmosphere of its own, causing the surroundings to emerge and fade. The fragile conditions associated with scrolls attributes the ephemeral experience of Megillahs. This experience is defined by interaction, turning another page amongst traditional practice.
A sukkah is a transient space, where one goes to transcend their spiritual capacity. A sukkah is time-less structure that comes and goes at the user’s discretion. The question becomes can the material properties of the sukkah become a catalyst for design, as well as fully integrated with nature?
A sukkah is a space that changes over time, but how can that change be translated into something that is one with man and nature. This sukkah explores the usage of 100% biodegradable corn foam as the primary medium to answer this question.
The biodegradable skin is attached to the top and bottom of each rib. The panelized system is sandwiched with leaves and various grasses to create multiple plays in the sukkah’s translucency and meditation capacity of the user(s). The tapering form creates one direct view out to the sky , with various stages of opacity in between based off of the layers of corn-foam from bottom to top. The “blooming” form of the sukkah, with its bio-degradable panels foreshadows the natural rebirth of the material as a main composting agent to the landscape.
The biodegradable corn foam is 100% organic and dissolves when in contact with water. This aspect creates a dialogue between a temporary skin and a permanent framework. One that lets nature decide when the sukkah needs a palette cleanse. The frame stays while the skin becomes one with nature again. The biodegradable foam skin is reapplied by a new user after rain seasons or rain showers.
The homonymous holy symbol became the starting point and inspiration of the Halo Sukkah, which emerges from the transformation of a simple geometrical shape; the circle. Bending and twisting a circle into three circular rings, arranged in continuous loops, forms the complex, yet characteristic structure of the Halo Sukkah. This infinitely flowing arrangement of composing elements aims in highlighting the ideas of unity, bonding and eternity.
The structure formulates a single conically shaped space emphasizing a central roof opening. This Sky Aperture is encircled by hanging vines that allow view to the exterior while filtering the penetrating sun light. Low comfortable, hammock-like, seating is arranged along the perimeter of the interior enabling moments of tranquility and relaxation by naturally directing the sight of the occupants to the sky.
The materials of the Halo Sukkah are chosen to reflect the properties of affordability, ephemerality and fragility, core elements of the design concept. Coupled by the fact that the project is aimed to be realized 9000 km away from the base of the design team, the requirements for lightness, transportability and construction efficiency were introduced and incorporated in the design. As such, inexpensive recyclable materials became the designers’ palette, while posing challenging computational tasks and processes.
Each twelve sukkah is not only the entrance into the Holy Place but also the exit to serve the wider community. Here, twelve sukkahs produce one tabernacle. There are no more boundaries between the pale of God and the Man’s preserve. THE TWELVE-SUKKAH itself is a tabernacle.
APoC is a vessel made of two overlapping layers. With shells of bent plywood, the outer layer stands firmly on the ground. Suspended within this exterior shell is an intimate, domed interior ringed by benches. There is a single low opening through which occupants enter and look up through an oculus. The oculus is a circular assembly of reeds that frames the sky and provides shade. The geometry of the APoC is made of curving plates that support each other with metal rods. Each plate is engineered baltic birch plywood that is then steamed and curved into a stable, strong shell. The profiles of the outer layer overlaps with the profiles of the inner layer so that the inner layer is floating. This is achieved by using steel rods that pass from the outer to the inner shells. The bottom of the inner layer is thus able to be curled up into seating.
This work is a brief architectural study between man, his environment and nature. The perpetual paradox of the habitat is that its ultimate goal is to shield and subtract man from nature. While one part of our inner self is drawn to nature, the other half looks for the psychological relief of shelter and dwelling. This duality is observed and resolved in the hexagram sukkah. With a heavily angular and intrepid geometrical hand, the design refers the works of the mind and celebrates the spirit of invention of man. The floating floor and translucent walls lift the spirit from the ground, and let the eye see beyond the physical limits of the enclosed space. This is a celebration of the spirit. The ceiling permits the entrance of the sun at times, and at other times cast a refreshing full shade inside the elevated dwelling platform. There is only one wall that surrounds the exterior perimeter and divides the internal space. This structure is meant to be built with reclaimed pre manufactured aged materials, and also with readily available natural ones. The counterpoised triangular planes that form the ceiling and the floor enclose the habitat and form a six point star, when seen from above. In its ideal situation, (the sukkah placed in the middle of nature) the form, the materials and execution; is a spiritual and physical enclosing of the body that does not subtract man or his spirit from nature.