With dzo Architecture
Kefar Saba, Israel
Reading the Torah and commenting on it are cornerstones of Jewish religious life. The Beit Binyamin Synagogue’s design is thus inspired by the shapes of Hebrew letters and the layering found in the layout of a Talmud page. The exterior walls are abstracted letter forms without literal representation. The spaces wrap and protect the most sacred space with layers of everyday program and the changing width of the walls incorporates the ark. The exterior wall is perforated by text, which, depending on exterior light conditions, are visible inside the sanctuary with different degrees of sharpness and color. At dusk, when the Sabbath enters, the light projects them to the outside. The Hebrew letters signify the centrality of the text to the Jewish prospect. Their immanence in the building structure marks the synagogue as a sacred space whose occupants seek to bring the text into their lives, and their lives into it.