Sukkah City STL 2014 announces winning designs

Ten projects installed at Washington University Oct. 7-12

“On the Wane…” by Kelley Van Dyck Murphy and Jonathan Murphy. The piece, which will be installed at Washington University Oct. 7-12, is one of 10 winning designs in the competition “Sukkah City STL 2014.”
(Credit: ALL IMAGES Courtesy of the artists)

Ten cutting-edge sukkahs by architects and designers from around the nation will be installed Oct. 7-12 on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis.

The projects are winners of “Sukkah City STL 2014: Between Absence and Presence,” an ambitious contemporary design competition presented by St. Louis Hillel and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

Building on a similar competition hosted in 2011, Sukkah City STL 2014 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 10 winning projects, by both individuals and teams of architects and designers, were selected from a field of 33 entries. Jurors were:

  • Adam Yarinsky, principal of the Architecture Research Office, New York;
  • Jamie Kolker, assistant vice chancellor of campus planning and director of capital projects at Washington U.;
  • Heather Woofter, associate professor and chair of Graduate Architecture in the Sam Fox School; and
  • Ursula Emery McClure and Michael McClure of emerymcclure architecture in Louisiana.

“Disintegrating Boundaries” by June Deng and Lydia Smith.

“The diversity and strength of the submissions surpassed our expectations,” said Jacqueline Ulin Levey, president of St. Louis Hillel. “Each of the ten proposals selected presents a remarkable re-interpretation of the sukkah drawing upon this year’s theme, ‘between absence and presence.’

“Viewed together, the designs will create another extraordinary installation,” Levey said. “The designers include architecture students and faculty from the Sam Fox School and design schools around the country, as well as other established architects and firms.

“It’s really a tremendous enterprise, involving numerous members of our campus and Hillel community, and we’re thrilled as to how it’s all come together.”

Each winning entry will receive a $1,000 honorarium to defray construction costs. Projects will be installed on the Danforth Campus, just west of Olin Library, beginning the morning of Monday, Oct. 6.

Projects will remain on view through Sunday, Oct. 12. An opening reception will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in Umrath Lounge on the Danforth Campus. Tickets to the reception, which will include hors d’oeurves and wine, are $36 and can be purshased through St. Louis Hillel.

Organizers also will host a free Sukkah City STL Community Open House from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12. Additional tours and student-coordinated events will take place throughout the week.

For more information, call 314-935-9040 or visit

Sukkah City STL winners are:

TAO+LEE Associates
St. Louis
“A Tensile Community”

Devin Brown
Manhattan, Kan.

June Deng and Lydia Smith
“Disintegrating Boundaries”

Jess Glennie, Catalina Padilla and Ben Parker
Austin, Tex.

“Nest” by Jess Glennie, Catalina Padilla and Ben Parker.

Kelley Van Dyck Murphy + Jonathan Murphy
St. Louis
“On the Wane…”

Lavender Tessmer
St. Louis

Ashlie Latiolais, Garrett Armentor and John Welcher
Lafayette, La.

Marc Manack + Frank Jacobus
Fayetteville, Ark.
“Super Sukkah”

Jeffrey Lee, Christopher Taurasi and Alexandra White
St. Louis
“Surface to Sukkah”

Ken McCown, Jonathon Anderson, Phil Zawarus and Nasar Saghafi
Las Vegas

* For more details about each proposal, see slideshow at right.

“String-of-Grass” by Lavender Tessme.