Zwi Perez Chajes Synagogue

Foto © Karoline Mayer
Foto © Karoline Mayer
Foto © Karoline Mayer
Foto © Karoline Mayer
Foto © Karoline Mayer
Foto © Paul Ott
Foto © Paul Ott
BEHF Architects
Simon Wiesenthalgasse 1, 1020 Vienna
Planning: BEHF Architects, Design Architect: Stephan Ferenczy, Project Management: Markus Schuster, Planning and Details: Lorenzo de Chiffre and Bernd Oberwinkler, Local Construction Supervision: Roman Schmid

BEHF Architects designed the architectural interior of the synagogue in the Zwi Perez Chajes School on the campus of the Jewish Community of Vienna.

The aim was to architecturally design the interior of the synagogue situated in an existing shell construction in the new centre of the Jewish Community of Vienna on the one hand and to technically and organisationally execute this project on the other hand.

Since the synagogue was intended for pupils of the Zwi Perez Chajes School as well as for inhabitants of the Maimonides-Old Age Home, BEHF considered these multiple needs and decided to add internal shutters: inside, these shutters are not smooth or clean, strict or uniform, but are folded, lively, and allow one to see the background through slots and flaps. The rays of sunshine illuminate the interior of the synagogue in such a manner as to add variety and suspense.
The "back" of the oak wood paneling is gold-plated and can be seen as a special "shining" room from the outside. Inside, there are reflecting and sparkling lights and shadows coming from the flaps in the wooden elements, which are placed at irregular intervals and can be opened and closed.

The result shows how a synagogue of today can be designed: by handling materials in a very simple yet sophisticated manner and using a clear, modern language.

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