Sukkah City: Competition Winners Being Built In New York
Shim Sukkah tinder, tinker, Sagle, Idaho
A sukkah is "an ephemeral, elemental shelter, erected for one week each fall, in which it is customary to share meals, entertain, sleep, and rejoice." A Sukkah City of 12 finalists are being built in New York City in time for the Jewish Holiday of Sukkah next week.
Henry Grosman and Babak Bryan, Long Island City
Like almost everything in Judiasm, there are lots of rules regulating their construction; the Talmudic building code demands all organic materials (including dead elephants), two and a half walls and a leaky roof. The Sukkah City website says that "the sukkah's religious function is to commemorate the temporary structures that the Israelites dwelled in during their exodus from Egypt, but it is also about universal ideas of transience and permanence as expressed in architecture. The sukkah is a means of ceremonially practicing homelessness, while at the same time remaining deeply rooted." It is also a celebration of the harvest, so it is fitting that Sukkah City is being built in Union Square, which is a celebration of the harvest every Saturday morning.
Sukkah of the Signs
Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, Oakland, California
"We asked some of the most creative people in the world to re-imagine and renew the sukkah, and the results are truly dazzling and inspiring," said Roger Bennett and Joshua Foer of the cultural organization Reboot, which organized the competition in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects, Architizer, Dwell, the Union Square Partnership, and the City's Department of Parks & Recreation. "This humble structure will come to life in twelve new forms that are bold, beautiful and quintessentially New York."
Volkan Alkanoglu, Los Angeles, California
Most of the Sukkahs I have been in have been rather dull plywood boxes, but one could really enjoy shaking a lulav in these. Justin Davidson points out in New York Magazine that it is a particularly appropriate site for the project:
This is a perpetually provisional city. New Yorkers live in too-small apartments they hope to trade in, cherish buildings that stand only until some developer decides to tear them down, and reform entire neighborhoods that reach a momentary sense of identity before changing again. Temporary, we get.
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