Young Israel Congregation

PrizeWinner in Interior Design / Other Interior Design
Firm LocationBay Harbor Islands, United States
Lead ArchitectJaime Schapiro AIA
Design TeamEder BooBarbara Garcia
ClientYoung Israel Congregation of Bal Harbour

Young Israel is a Modern Orthodox Congregation located in the Town of Surfside, Florida. A synagogue is a house of prayer, study, and assembly. Our design and program reflects all of these functions. The building has 23,784 S.F. in three levels. The design is symmetric and balanced with a single axis pointing East. The first floor consists of the lobby, sanctuary men’s section with 216 seats with the Ark in the tip of the axis. On the same axis is located the bimah, reading table, which is centrally located to emphasize the fundamental act of the Jewish prayer service. The central bimah reflects the Orthodox approach of the Torah reading. This floor houses the Social Hall and Kitchen. The second floor consists of the sanctuary women’s balcony section, daily chapel, classrooms for children and youth programs, the administrative offices, and a sukkah area. The massing is simple and straightforward expressing the interior spaces and their functions. The design grammar is abstract, as is the Jewish religion, and sensitive to the context in terms of scale, height, and massing resulting in a meaningful piece of Architecture. This idea express his Jewish identity in the modern world and in this case the urban, tropical Floridian context.