Lincoln Square Synagogue

Prize Winner in Architectural Design / Cultural Architecture
Firm LocationNew York, United States
CompanyCetraruddy Architecture
Lead DesignerCetraRuddy Architecture

Lincoln Square Synagogue is designed to elevate the sense of community for the modern orthodox congregation and foster the Hebraic consciousness of prayer, reflection and study. Specific needs for a sanctuary space, flexible educational/gathering spaces, kitchen and administrative offices were identified. The 450-seat sanctuary needed to accommodate members’ ability to pray “in-the-round.” Each of these elements contributed to an overall design to foster a sense of place within an expanding, unified Jewish community. The guiding symbolic references were the nomadic tabernacle-tent structure, Tallis-the prayer shawl and the notion of “dance” during celebrations, and most importantly the Torah, the manifestation of which is realized in the undulating glass curtain wall, composed of five individual ‘ribbons’, and defines the form of the sanctuary within. Integration of biblical materials (stone, bronze, cedars of Lebanon) commemorates the past while incorporating modern detailing, reflecting the continuum of the synagogue’s heritage. Lastly, the design carefully devises the spiritual experience of the spaces by creating a hierarchy of circulation. Architectural clues, such as the street-level entrance, the lobby-interior gathering space and the more private sanctuary corridor acknowledge a physical transition from public to private. The result is a unique structure and architectural expression reflective of the community.