The Folding Sukkah

Jen Noonan

The significance of the palm leaf in Sukkot inspired the design of the Folding Sukkah. The palm leaf, together with two willow branches, three myrtle branches, and a citron, make up the lulav and etrog which is used in reciting prayers. Of the Four Species, the palm is considered the backbone, and with its structural makeup, launched inspiration into the structure and form of the Folding Sukkah. The ribs on a palm leaf became the basis for the repetition in vertical elements in this sukkah. The timber members create sturdy walls and a roof, and cast sharp shadows into the space, invoking the sense of sitting under palm trees.

On the inside of the hut there are two fold-out chairs, a table and a sofa bed. These features can easily be stored in the walls or taken out for use. This is to create a more all-in-one quality of the sukkah and encourage sleeping and eating in the space over the course of the week. Above the fold-out table and chairs which can either be used for a family meal or studying, is a prominent bamboo traced skylight. Due to its open nature to the sky, the table below becomes kosher, which is an important observance in building a sukkah.

While additional or personal furniture can be added to the Folding Sukkah, the intent of the space is to be a baseline for performing the necessary functions during Sukkot: studying, prayer/contemplation, eating, and sleeping.

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