Urban Herman-Reboot’s Sukkah City

Posted by admin on September 28, 2010 in Spotlight |


We had the opportunity to check out Sukkah city in Union Square. A sukkah is a hut Jewish families build in observance of the current holiday Sukkot (Tabernacles). It celebrates the new harvest and the exodus from Egypt — a reminder of the transient life and the need to keep an eye on your food supply. Observant families eat all three meals in these little buildings, and some even sleep in them. The temporary structures come in all shapes and sizes and are often colorfully decorated with hanging fruits, foil decorations, paper chains, religious posters, rug hangings and more. Some are all-year round rooms that are part of a house and have removable roofs. Some are simple and seat no more than two people. Some are so elaborate, they have crystal chandeliers and heating systems with automatic awnings to keep out the rain. Synagogues and temples build huge ones for their congregants, and sometimes neighbors build a Sukkah together. As religious articles, the huts conform to certain rules which include not using any nails and making sure you can see the sky through the plant material you are using for your roof.This week we had the opportunity to attend Sukkah in the City. Sukkah City is an international design competition challenging designers, artists and architects to newly reinterpret the structures while following traditional rules. The contest is put on by Jewish cultural organization Reboot. Contestants were encouraged to “Propose radical possibilities for traditional design constraints in a contemporary urban site.” With the help of a rabbinical consultant consultant architects created some unusual and interesting Sukkah’s .Reboot Executive Director Lou Cove, described the response to the competition as “amazing from the start.” Reboot received 1,700 registrations on their website to enter the competition, and from that 600 designs were submitted from 70 countries, of which 12 were selected to be built in Brooklyn and brought to Union Square on the weekend. RACTURED BUBBLE: The winning entry in the The Sukkah City international design competition. The sukkah was designed by Long Island City architects Henry Grosman and Babek Bryan.

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