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Kesher Synagogue by Studio ST Architects & Z-A Studio



Covering 18,000 sq.ft, the Kesher Synagogue houses three main programmatic spaces including Sanctuary, Social hall and Chapel. The building consists of three half-levels that doesn’t need elevator for connection, only stairs and ramps are available which also minimizing the energy consumption.


The community’s name, Kesher, meaning both Connection and Knot in Hebrew, inspired the building to be a continuous spatial band tying together three main programmatic spaces. The Sanctuary, Social hall and Chapel are unique moments expressed along a band of lobbies and circulation spaces. These three volumes are clad with a ribbed skin which wraps around the main lower wood volumes; directed and filtered light pass through the building’s ribs.

The synagogue functions are distributed on a “split level” structure which takes advantage of the site’s ten foot slope. The three half-levels minimize the need for excavation and maximize the daylight and access to the exterior from all sections. These half-levels allow all spaces to be accessed with ramps, as well as stairs, eliminating the need for an elevator, which is not typically used on the Sabbath by Orthodox communities such as this one.

The building is designed to minimize energy consumption with both the orientation of its massing and windows and also with a series of accessible and non-accessible green roofs. The spatial bands link the indoor and outdoor in many instances encouraging the seamless flow of people and activity from