Check out this new innovative sukkah by Babak Bryan and Henry Grosman, aka BanG Studios, based in New York City. They are part of a new generation of architects rethinking the traditional sukkah for the 21st century. Last year BanG won the people’s choice award for the Sukkah City competition with their entry Fractured Bubble.
Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn commissioned BanG Studio to design and erect a community sukkah to coincide with their Sukkot Festival in 2011. The Rabbi Andy Bachman requested a very special community sukkah that combined the rich traditions of the holiday with a modern, urban spin appropriate for their Brooklyn community.
Unlike the previous Fractured Bubble, this sukkah was designed such that the congregation will help build and decorate. The parameters of the design are set in place, but each piece will be field measured and hand cut enabling the community to assemble the sukkah in a manner that leaves elements of the styling in their hands.
One of the most special elements will be that which the Congregation’s children can also contribute to. Bryan and Grosman have laser-cut 1500 cardboard leaves in 3 varieties — maple, oak and aspen and 3 sizes. The members of the congregation will celebrate the holiday by painting the leaves red, orange and yellow and hanging them on the inside of the sukkah as decoration.
The pieces of the sukkah are made from standard dimensional lumber (2x4s) cut on-site, drilled and threaded onto a series of bent steel spines. The spines define the geometry and the wood becomes a flexible shell. The sukkah is made from two of these doubly-curved wood shells that join above the entrance. The shells curve along the length of the sukkah giving it stability. They also curve top-to-bottom wrapping over to form the roof, which will be covered in Spanish Moss.
The sukkah is to be erected on the sidewalk adjacent to community center, which is part of the synagogue. Making a piece of modern urban design out of this traditional structure.
Learn more about BanG Studios at www.b-an-g.com