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.