Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue by Ross Barney Architects, in Evanston, United States
This Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue is designed by Ross Barney Architects, located in Evanston, United States.
Evanston’s zoning ordinance limited the building area to less than the original 42,000 sq. ft. program. Space demand was evaluated hour by hour to find the most flexible balance. JRC’s offices, early childhood program, and chapel occupy the first floor; the religious school and library are on the second floor; and the sanctuary, social hall and kitchen are on the third floor, a strategy that allowed cost effective construction of high volume space for the sanctuary.
JRC’s commitment to Tikkun Olam – Hebrew for “repairing the world” – is manifest in the design while demonstrating the benefits of sustainable design. The solution, a precious wooden box, is a visual testament to these values. The wood cladding is recycled cypress harvested from demolished barns.
A Jerusalem stone wall anchors the box creating a baseline for all other activities. The processional stair outside the wall provides a meaningful and eventful transition between spaces. JRC’s highly involved, multigenerational congregation is reflected in the informal, non hierarchical community and worship spaces, especially the sanctuary.