A sustainable new synagogue

Studio-ST as Architects

Inspired by the Hebrew meaning of the community’s name, Kesher, meaning both Connection and Knot, the building is a continuous spatial band tying together the three main programmatic spaces. The Sanctuary, Social Hall, and Chapel are unique moments expressed along this band of lobbies and circulation spaces. These three volumes are clad with a second ribbed skin which wraps around the main lower wood volumes, allowing directed and filtered light through the building’s ribs.

The synagogue functions are distributed on a “split level” structure which takes advantage of the site’s ten feet slope. The three half levels minimize the need for excavation and maximize the daylight and access to the exterior from all three levels. These half levels allowed all spaces to be accessed with ramps, as well as stairs, eliminating the need for an elevator which is not typically used on the Sabbath by Orthodox communities such as this.

The building is designed to minimize energy consumption both by the site and orientation of its massing and windows, as well as by a series of accessible and non-accessible green roofs. The spatial bands link the indoor and outdoor in many instances encouraging a seamless flow of people and activity from the inside out.

Spirituality & Sustainability In Place

Studio ST Architects as Architects

It is the community’s name, Kesher - meaning both Connection and Knot in Hebrew - that inspired this adaptive reuse of a suburban house into a synagogue.

Committed to creating a sustainable building, the design ties together, in a continuous spatial band, the three main programmatic spaces – the Sanctuary, Social Hall, and Chapel – and connects them to the outdoors through a series of ramps.

A ribbed skin allows natural light to penetrate deeper within the building and a series of green roofs provide additional outdoor space lowering considerably the energy consumption of the synagogue.

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New Aarhus School of Architecture
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New Aarhus School of Architecture

Aarhus, Denmark - Build completed in 2021
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