The widespread existence of the Jewish community and the unstable relationship between Judaism and other religions have hindered the evolution of a recognised architectural style. This contrasts with the development of a very confident Jewish identity. Ceremonial traditions and rituals present few recognisable reference points in a synagogue’s physical expression. And while the identity of a church or a mosque is carved in stone, it is usually conspicuous in its absence with regard to synagogues. The positioning of the benches opposite each other and parallel to the axis between the Bimah (preaching seat) and the Ark (depository for the Torah rolls), and the use of bright daylight are the most important starting points for the design process. Moreover, the emptiness, visualisation of the enigmatic Jewish identity (nesjomme) with its subtle and complex character, plays a significant role.
Synagogue “Liberaal Joodse Gemeente” in Amsterdam
For SeARCH and Abitare 509 – Februari 2011 – “SCRIPT IN STONE”