Sara Pepitone | February 01, 2013
“When building a synagogue, there is often a spatial dilemma between the correct urban alignment and the correct religious alignment,“ says Gross. “In the case of the Ulm Synagogue, we organised all rooms orthogonally, with one exception: the prayer room as the actual synagogue." The diagonal position of this space allows for a layer of religious meaning; its geographical direction is directly towards Jerusalem, the spiritual and religious center of Judaism.
The Ulm synagogue—a freestanding, 56-feet-high cuboid—combines both religious and non-religious elements. A community center and nursery share the same space within a single building encased in reinforce dconcrete with a limestone facade. No programmatic distinction is made between the prayer room and the other functions. And the overall preservation of public space was essential. Single-block structures with multipurpose interiors are in line with German synagogue construction since 2001, when the constraints of urban surroundings bega to converge with mindsets.
Inside, the foyer and many of the rooms are laid with stone tiles, while the prayer room and community hall have oak parquet. Above—over the bimah and seats—is a custom 11-foot-wide chandelier representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
Contemporary Worship: Capella nel bosco