The Oculus

Stephen Baik

 Overview

The Sukkah started out as a dwelling for the Jewish people during their search for a homeland while marching through the Egyptian desert. In contemporary times, it has transitioned to become a symbol for frailty and transience of life. However, we believe that a Sukkah can also serve as a form of educating and informing the new generation and non-Jewish community about the historic importance of this dwelling.

Design Intent

The design proposes shareable and semi-private spaces, which are created by the visitors. The semi-private spaces are created by fully enclosing the curtains under each oculus ring, allowing a visitor to have a space for reflection and contemplation as the shadows of the interconnected twine shifts on the curtain throughout the day, while revealing the stars at night. The shareable spaces are created by opening the curtains on the grid tracks. Multiple visitors can create various spaces within that consist of both forms of spaces. The idea of using semi-translucent curtains that only hang down to knee height is to let the visitors always know they are around others and never alone, even when they are within the contemplation space. Seating is moveable as they are created from locally sources strawbale bunches, allowing visitors to make their own seating arrangements. The overall idea is to allow visitors a way to make their own spaces together just like how the Jewish people did in the Egyptian desert.

Technical

The design consists of a framed timber structure that is suspending moveable fabric curtains through a system of tracks. These curtains are semi-translucent and hang down to around knee height. The curtains allow visitors to pull the curtains and form their own spaces within the design. Strawbale blocks will be used as moveable seating. Twine ropes will be interconnected to make the pattern in the roof occolus’. The entire design will sit on a 2 inch raised platform to stabilize and anchor the structure, while ramps on all 4 sides allow for wheelchair accessibility.

Sukkah: Dwell in Design

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