Ten cutting-edge Sukkahs by architects and designers from around the nation, including alumni and students, were installed on the Danforth Campus Oct. 17, 2011. The projects, erected just south of the Ann W. Olin Women’s Building, were winners of Sukkah City STL, an ambitious contemporary design competition. Co-sponsored by St. Louis Hillel, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and The Museum of ImaJewnation, the competition challenged participants to reimagine the traditional Jewish Sukkah — a small, temporary structure erected each fall during the weeklong festival of Sukkot — through the lens of contemporary art and architecture.
“The holiday of Sukkot in Jewish tradition is a way of ceremonially dwelling on, and dwelling in, impermanence,” says Rabbi Andrew Kastner, of St. Louis Hillel.
“Each of the proposals, in its own way, has reimagined the ancient Sukkah, using it as a canvas to explore the role boundaries play in defining what it means to be human,” continues Kastner, who organized the competition with Brian Newman, adjunct lecturer of architecture in the Sam Fox School.
The Sukkahs remained on view through Sat., Oct. 22.
The above information was compiled from articles written by Liam Otten, art news director, University News Service, Public Affairs.
For more information on Sukkah City STL, visit the following:
Heliotrope, by Bronwyn Charlton and Linda Levin (St. Louis), was one of 10 winning entries in the Sukkah City STL design competition. “Since its inception, Sukkot has linked the worlds of heaven and earth: the sky, serving as a reference point for secular and religious practice, functioned as a measure of time for agricultural processes as well as a focus for faith in a higher power.” (Stan Strembicki)
Exodus was an entry by Alexander Morley (pictured) and Jennifer Wong (St. Louis). “Beyond a mass departure of people, the Exodus speaks to the human desire to remove oneself from a narrow and closed view of life and transition into an open, accepting view of the world.” (Sid Hastings)
Students, including Charlton and Levin of Heliotrope and Morley and Wong of Exodus, were among the winners of the design competition. (Sid Hastings)
Sukkah City STL projects were installed outdoors on the university’s Danforth Campus, near the Ann W. Olin Women’s Building. They were available for viewing Oct. 18–22. (Joe Angeles)
Tené, winning entry by emerymcclure architecture (Lafayette, La.). “Named after the Old Testament Hebrew word for a large, deep basket used for gathering the harvest from the garden or field, the Tené serves as both a shelter and a symbol for gathering.” (Joe Angeles)
Storycubes, a winning entry by Act3 (Ben Kaplan), Trivers Architecture, and St. Louis Beacon (St. Louis). “This Sukkah, then, is meant to represent those intertwined themes: transitions, and the journey.” (Stan Strembicki)
Visitors interact with Storycubes, a winning entry by Act3 (Ben Kaplan), Trivers Architecture, and St. Louis Beacon (St. Louis). (Stan Strembicki)
Thru-motion was designed by Sean Corriel (New York). “Contemporary borders are mediated by the individual. Sometimes open, sometimes closed, our borders are transparent or translucent — a switching we are sometimes aware of and sometimes not. Thru-motion mediates this delicate boundary by an individual’s position, speed and focus.” (Stan Strembicki)