seARCH: synagogue LJG seARCH: synagogue LJG
jun 28, 2011

seARCH: synagogue LJG

‘synagogue LJG’ by seARCH, amsterdam, the netherlands image © iwan baan

dutch practice seARCH has created ‘synagogue LJG’, a synagogue for the progressive jewish congregation in amsterdam. riddled with symbolism of the jewish faith, the neutral rectilinear volume generates a simplistic outwards aesthetic which conceals the building’s complex narrative and inverted sense of spatiality. drawing from both traditional and modern concepts, the building seeks to create an environment that abstractly emulates the ideals and beliefs at the center of judaism with photography captured by iwan baan.

matzo-like tiles create an abstract pattern using the star of david motif image © iwan baan

small tiles on the exterior surface emboss the building with a pattern of the star of david, its subtle matzo-like effect made visible by light and shadow. heavy and solid on the landscape, the structure is defined by two opposing menorah-shaped openings that link east and west, marking the direction towards jerusalem. drawing natural light inwards, the large, symbolically-charged forms impact the arrangement of space within the ceremonial hall, whose central axis and seating runs between the vast windows. four balconies extend from the negative surfaces between each of the seven branches, further defining and highlighting the importance of the object.

window detail image © iwan baan

a mixed program of worship, community, classroom and office spaces consume the four-storey structure, which utilizes both new

materials and ones salvaged from the synagogue that previously housed the liberal congregation.

ceremonial space image © iwan baan

all seating runs parallel to a central east-west axis image © iwan baan

four cantilevered benches run the length between each window image © iwan baan

entrance to balcony seating image © iwan baan

bricks salvaged from the previous synagogue surround a pair of gold-leaf doors image © iwan baan

community center image © iwan baan

stairway leading to community center image © iwan baan

floor plan/ level 0 image courtesy of seARCH

floor plan/ level 1 image courtesy of seARCH

floor plan/ level 2 image courtesy of seARCH

section image courtesy of seARCH

section image courtesy of seARCH

elevation image courtesy of seARCH

elevation image courtesy of seARCH

concept sketch of east-west axis image courtesy of seARCH

concept sketch of window image courtesy of seARCH

concept sketch image courtesy of seARCH

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