Alex Zulas 

Temporary shelters became a basic form of dwelling during forty years for the Israelites as they wandered the desert. These structures gave the wanderers a sense of protection and refuge, by creating an enclosed atmosphere semidetached from the exterior environment.


The main goal of this project, beyond creating just a sculptural object, is to create atmospheres. Two main spaces are proposed: 1) a transitional sequence and 2) an interior semi-enclosed chamber. The purpose of the approach, entry and transitional space is to transport the wanderer from the outside context to an interior one. The aspiration of the interior chamber is to create a contemplative sanctuary where the wanderer becomes fully immersed within the space’s atmosphere.


The proposed Sukkah is simple in form. The geometry and assemblies are honest, quiet and reveal an ancient appeal. The building is symmetrical with a 12’ by 12’ square floor plan. The walls are made from readily available off-the-shelve wood boards of various sizes, secured with steel rods, bolts and nuts. The project is sustainable since no cutting (or minimal cutting) will be required, making the boards reusable. The wall detailing presents small slots between the boards, slowly revealing the spaces both inside and out. The result is a dynamic envelope that will create interesting light and shadow patterns fostering a strong sense of discovery. Inside the chamber, a gabion-like assembly will hold chips of aromatic wood such pine, hickory or apple wood. This will create a sensory-rich setting promoting a meditative atmosphere.

Sukkah: Dwell in Design

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