Tag: synagogue

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Published in The Jewish Week Friday night. We are standing in a paved plaza beside Riverside Drive; the air is crisp, the fresh snow is sparkling like diamond dust in the setting sun. We are six feet apart and masked (I can’t wait for this combined phrase to become obsolete). We join the Chazzan, chanting the Jewish Friday evening prayer, welcoming the Sabbath as the sun disappears over the Hudson river. “Come my beloved towards your bride to welcome the Sabbath.”  Suddenly I’m choked up, no longer able to sing. My eyes fill with tears and emotions. I have sung […] Read More

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Originally published: Chicago YIMBY Studio ST Architects’ new design for the renovation of Skokie Valley Agudath Synagogue, in Skokie, IL, will update and revitalize the original 1960 synagogue in order to better reflect the congregation’s values of accessibility and inclusivity. Aesthetic and practical changes address the congregation’s diverse needs, create a comfortable space for individual prayer and group services, and bring in more natural light to create an airy, ethereal atmosphere.  Read More

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Published: The Architect’s Newspaper From the editors of The Architects’ Newspaper: “After expanding our categories to a whopping 47 and receiving over 800 submissions, the 2019 AN Best of Design Awards were our most successful yet. Of course, this made the judging more difficult than ever. Projects came from firms big and small across every corner of the North American continent. While we are always surprised by the breadth and quantity of submissions, we were not surprised by the quality of the design work put forth by these talented architects and designers. Sensitivity and subtlety were at a premium. Winners were chosen for their […] Read More

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Published: New York YIMBY Studio ST Architects recently completed the design and bidding process for a five-million-dollar renovation of the Ansche Chesed Synagogue on the Upper West Side in New York. The renovation will enlarge the building entrance lobby which was originally built in 1927. The size of the new lobby, designed as an open bleacher-style space spanning two levels, triples the square footage of the original space. The addition of two new ADA non-gendered bathrooms, coat rooms and stroller parking in the lobby will better serve members and guests joining the many programs and services held throughout the synagogue. A new LULA elevator provides easy access to both lobby levels, the sanctuary above, and the basement multipurpose hall. On the basement level, […] Read More

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Published: Yale Paprika In this interview, Miriam Dreiblatt speaks with founder of Studio ST Architects Esther Sperber on the challenges of designing religious spaces that promote serenity and connection while maintaining a high level of security. Sperber aims to design sacred spaces that foster a sense of community and belonging while being mindful of prayers and their individual spiritual needs. Sperber further discusses the impact of the concern and need for increased safety measures in synagogue architecture. These measures culturally informed and therefore take different forms, ranging from gates and police cars surrounding the site to hidden cameras and security […] Read More

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Published: Bloomberg Citylab Esther Sperber was interviewed for an article published in Bloomberg Citylab on securing religious spaces, written in response to the massacre at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the recent rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes. Esther notes that there needs to be a balance between openness and security in religious spaces. The challenge for designers is how to draw people into spaces of prayer while maintaining a heightened level of security. Read the full article on Bloomberg Citylab Read More

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Published: The Forward Studio ST Architects’s ‘SynaCondo’ design proposal was featured in an article published in The Forward that looks at alternative approaches to synagogue design that are more compatible with today’s modern lifestyle and built environment. Esther Sperber notes that many traditional synagogues are hierarchical in how they’re designed and meant to be used. However, as more and more congregations shift to being communal and egalitarian in organization, the challenge is to rethink and adapt the architectural structure of synagogues to fit the community’s needs. Read the full article on The Forward Read More

Published: The Jewish Forward Congregation Beth Israel has been working with Esther Sperber of Studio ST Architects to update their 90-year-old Shul in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Sperber proposed a new building typology, the SynaCondo, which combines prayer space and residential space into one new structure. Although the congregation members were against any proposal that would demolish the existing synagogue, Sperber notes that this concept is one that many religious organizations may consider as they look to the future and contemplate how to keep up with the changing built environment. Read the full article on The Jewish Forward Read More

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Published: Curbed Studio ST Architects worked with Manhattan’s Midtown West Congregation on a radical new building typology, one that responds to the changing city environment. Of late, synagogues around the city are closing and/or being replaced with new apartment buildings. This calls for the need to rethink how these two programs can coexist in a shared built space. Studio ST Architects proposed a SynaCondo typology, a building that combines synagogue and residential spaces. The new synagogue would occupy the lower two floors of the building, with apartment units built above. Read the full article on Curbed Read More

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Originally published in The New York Jewish Week “We are in the season of the High Holy Days, when many Jews will be spending significant time in the synagogue. As an architect, I have had a number of opportunities to design synagogues, forcing me to think about the spatial and phenomenological aspects of communal prayer. [Jewish Week staff writer Steve Lipman addressed some of these issues in a Sept. 11 article, “The Shape Of Worship To Come.”] “The synagogue’s primary function is what happens in its sanctuary, the space in which the congregation prays together. But there is a basic […] Read More

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Published: Lilith Magazine Studio ST Architects’ Kesher Synagogue design project was featured in the article “Jews, Women, Architects. At The Same Time,” published in Lilith Magazine. Much of the design inspiration for Kesher Synagogue came from founding architect Esther Sperber’s Jewish heritage. Sperber used the community’s name, which means connection or knot, as well as the Talmud, to guide her design of the space. The new sanctuary is conceptualized as continuous space accessible by all, with a flexible configuration that can mold to a variety of different layouts in order to accommodate for various programs of different sizes and formats. […] Read More