Sukkah in Mel Lastman Square


PROGRAM: Temporary installation
LOCATION: Toronto - canada
AREA: 10 sqm
CLIENT: Kehilla Residential Programme
STATUT: Competition entry


A closed space with an open shape
The goal of our design is to create a mystic structure insisting on the dichotomies of open/closed, secular/spiritual and underlining the religious character of the sukkah.
The response is a free and irregular spiral, a twisting shape. Infinite.
the spiral, that continuous shape, puts in relation the exterior «profane» space and the interior «sacred» space. Anteriority entangles with posteriority. A metaphor of present life and the afterlife.

Discontinuity through continuity
Traditionally in the Jewish religion, a sukkah is made to accommodate several activities.
The spiral creates different intimacies that can hold several activities like eating, reading or praying. The sukkah is not apprehended as a single space only able to accommodate one activity.
Spaces are organized by function, from the most public to the most intimate.
It is like a continuous flow leading from the outside of the sukkah to the central point of the spiral which is also the most isolated space and so more appropriate to meditation and prayer. Penetrating the sukkah becomes like borrowing an initiation path. Voluntarily, the walls get tighter at some places, forcing people to turn for pass, creating separate spaces in this continuous movement.

Construction approach
The constructive approach tends to insist on the idea of a spiral, and to be simple and easy to implement. For this we chose a wooden structure consisting of assembled columns and beams upon which a natural hemp rope is woven. It is gradually drawing the walls and roof, without interruption and with the same rope.
The weaving is done following horizontal and oblique lines. These irregularities create a set of full and empty and also of light and shadow, opacity and transparency. For the roof, the more we penetrate the sukkah, the more dense and thicker becomes the rope’s trajectory. At the center of the spiral, an opening is created and places the visitor in direct relation with the sky.
the rope woven over and over again in a repetitive motion makes the sukkah look as a  structure created from an obsessive gesture, a state of trance.
The rope and wood are completely recyclable and can be reused after the week-long festival.

Project team: hk+b Architecture
Visualisations: hk+b Rendering

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