Imagine if Frank Lloyd Wright had designed a sukkah.
Just because the specs for a sukkah are simple — ceiling of natural materials, through which you can see the sky — doesn’t mean the structure has to be a primitive looking shack.
The Kehilla Residential Programme intends to prove the case by inviting architects, students, artists, builders and design professionals to submit design proposals to the inaugural Sukkahville Design Competition.
Last fall in New York, Sukkah City 2010 showcased twelve outstanding winning “outside the box sukkahs” on display in Union Square before Sukkot. With that as its inspiration, the aim of this Toronto competition is to solicit designs for temporary, free-standing sukkahs that will stand within the site of the Sherman Campus at Bathurst and Sheppard in Toronto during the holiday of Sukkot. The challenge: to re-imagine the traditional notion of sukkah within a contemporary design language and approach.
Kehilla is a non-profit housing agency under the umbrella of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and it has a mandate to identify and champion housing initiatives responsive to the needs of the Jewish community. The Sukkahville competition is intended to raise awareness and bring focus to the many significant affordable housing issues that are prevalent in our own community.
“Did you know that there are more than 20,000 poor Jewish households in our community who spend up to 70 % of their limited incomes on housing?” asks Nancy Singer, Kehilla’s Executive Director. “Some are forced to live in shelters while they wait for their names to come up on a 15-year long waiting list. This is the reality of affordable housing in Toronto.”
A Sukkah is a temporary structure constructed for use during the weeklong annual Jewish festival of Sukkot. Described in Leviticus as a symbolic wilderness shelter, a sukkah symbolizes the frailty and transience of life. While building a sukkah is a particular Jewish ritual observance, it represents many conceptual themes surrounding the essential nature of dwelling, which are universal in nature.
Proposing an innovative sukkah design, which delicately balances the inherent dichotomies of new/old, open/closed, temporary/permanent is the challenge inherent in this competition.
Submissions: Rules and Deadline
Sukkahville Competition submissions must be received no later than 12:00 p.m. noon EST on August 31, 2011 at the Kehilla office: 262 Ridley Blvd, Toronto, ON M5M 4N6. For a complete list of submission rules and precise specifications, and to register your intention to submit, contact firstname.lastname@example.org , phone 416.932.1212 or Fax 416.932.1214
Five winning designs will be jury selected. The finalists will be notified by September 12th, and will be responsible for obtaining construction materials and constructing their designs. A stipend of $1,500 per winning design will be awarded to assist with construction and material costs.
The winning sukkahs will be showcased in a visionary village on the Sherman Campus on October 11th and 12th.
For more details on the Sukkahville 2011 competition, visit www.kehilla.ca
(Above photo: Sukkah City 2010 in New York)