The Arty Semite

Visionary Sukkahs in St. Louis

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
‘60 degree Sukkah’ by Filip Tejchman. Photo courtesy of Sukkah City STL.

A year after a sensational debut in New York’s Union Square Park last year, the “Sukkah City” idea has made its way westward to St. Louis. The 10 winners of the “Sukkah City STL” design competition were announced October 4, and they are now in the midst of installing their structures on the campus of Washington University. The projects will be on view October 18 to 22.

The cutting edge sukkot were selected from among more than 40 entries submitted by architects and designers from all over the U.S. “Each of the proposals, in their own way have re-imagined the ancient sukkah, using it as a canvas to explore the role boundaries define what it means to be human,” said Rabbi Andrew Kastner of St. Louis Hillel, which co-sponsored the competition with the university’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and The Museum of ImaJewnation. Additional support has come from the St. Louis Jewish Community Center and by the Sam Fox School’s Charles and Bunny Burson Art Fund.

Bruce Lindsey, dean of architecture in the Sam Fox School as well as the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Community Collaboration, chaired the “Sukkah City STL” jury, which began its deliberations after the competition closed on September 14. Also on the jury were environmental designer Mitchell Joachim; Chicago architect Carol Ross Barney; Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times; Rabbi Hyim Shafner of St. Louis’s Bais Abraham Congregation and former Chief Rabbi of India; and Nancy Berg, professor of Modern Hebrew Language and Literature in Washington University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

The winners — some individuals, some teams — hail from New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Chicago and St. Louis. From the titles and renderings of their design it seems that these sukkah visionaries took the statement in the call for submissions to heart: “The paradoxical effect of these constraints [the halachic parameters for building a kosher sukkah] is to produce a building that is an intellectual tangle of contradictions. When built, the structure is simultaneously new and old, timely and timeless, mobile and stable, open and enclosed, familiar and unusual, comfortable and critical.”

As visitors meander though and spend time in the fantastical structures, with such names as “ARTichoke,” “Storycubes,” “Thru-motion,” “Exodus,” and “Heliotrope,” they will have much to marvel at and comment on, as visitors to New York’s “Sukkah City” did. “We are certain that the installation will provoke deep and meaningful conversation,” Kastner said.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Architecture, Renee Ghert-Zand, Sukkah City, Sukkah City STL, Sukkot

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.