UHP Synagogue

Architects Equipo de Arquitectura
Location: Paraguay, Asunción
Year: 2019
Area: 375 m2
Photographs: Leonardo Méndez
Other Team Members: Construction: SIAR DesignTeam: Diego Soto, Jonathan Sosky Lead Architect: Horacio Cherniavsky & Viviana Pozzoli

The project is the product of an international competition to restore an old construction that was used as a Synagogue at the Hebraic Union of Paraguay. The challenge of any ceremonial space demands a reflection that respects the religious essence and the culture that involves it. Imagining a space of introspection and prayer suggest a creation of silence, where rite becomes the main protagonist.

6 4G0A7039 Large
Image by Leonardo Méndez

After analyzing the masterplan, we began the design process by locating two prisms, one as a threshold and the other as the holy enclosure. These two volumes converge at the union and they complement each other, structurally and morphologically.

11 4G0A6948 Large
Image by Leonardo Méndez

The outer case works as a strongbox, controlling the access of the synagogue through metallic doors that protect the interior.

24 4G0A6943 Large
Image by Leonardo Méndez

This great container breaks down into two pieces. The first piece builds the transition of scale and frames the synagogue’s entry. The second piece, which is bigger, limits the interior space and sets the temple’s presence. The concept of a prism inside the other is fairly simple, creating a cushion between the exterior, wide open and noisy, towards the interior, silent and spiritual.

All the materials express their true nature. Raw concrete displays strength and sturdiness to represent the temple’s protection. Rusted metal represents resilience, a characteristic of the Jewish community. The wood gives shelter to the ceremonial space, creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere, with great acoustics and thermal conditions. Thus, the exterior is the antithesis of the interior, creating a dichotomy between interior – exterior, cold – warm, noise – silence.

24 4G0A7049 Large
Image by Leonardo Méndez

Sunlight enters the interior space through perimeter skylights and truncated pyramids that build the ceiling. This separates the roof from the structure, creating a weightlessness sensation and generates different chiaroscuros throughout the day. The transformation of old constructions belongs to the series of sustainable criteria that must be considered at the beginning of a project that works with preexistences. Rethinking what already exists allows us to present new alternatives without discarding the energy and effort invested in a determined place and time.

More Project Images & Drawings
AD

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get the latest news and Green building inspirations. Join like-minded subscribers and receive our newsletter to your inbox.

Product Library

Related posts

Honey Sphere

This custom structure was first exhibited on the grounds of LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art and then moved to its...
Loading btn

Victoria University Sunshine Construction Futures

The new Sunshine Construction Futures (SCF) facility provides a centre of excellence in building and construction training, and a landmark building for...
Loading btn

Microlibrary Warak Kayu

A neighbourhood icon with multiple programs The Microlibrary Warak Kayu is the fifth built project within the Microlibrary series – an initiative...
Loading btn

Cleft House

Our clients for this northwest facing residence, in Delhi, are members of 3 generation joint family. Built on a narrow 326 sqm....
Loading btn