Earthen Vessels

Kyle Springmann, Courtney Chin, William Zheng,

Nick Callo - Machseh Studio

Earthen Vessels is rooted in the symbolic history of Sukkot. It is a sukkah whose architectural ideas are rationalized by Judaic numerology. Two numbers (seven and fifteen) are deeply embedded in Sukkot and can be traced in the design of this temporary structure.

07 The oak columns that make up the sukkah’s walls are each spaced to frame seven translucent scrim windows. The fabric acts as a shroud of obscurity that delays the viewers’ interaction with the architectural interventions within. This rationalization of the structure calls to mind not only the number of days that the festival occupies; but also Tishri, the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar.

15 “…On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, is the Festival of Succoth, a seven day period to the Lord.” This passage from Leviticus reiterates the correlation between Judaic numerology and Sukkot. While working in harmony with the aforementioned fabric wall components, the number fifteen is used to rationalize the remainder of the sukkah’s structure. At the ground plane, fifteen steps are removed from the earth. These fifteen steel and mesh benches call to mind the fifteen steps the Levites stood upon to sing the Psalms of Ascent. In a functional sense, the varioussized boxes create a multitude of seating configurations for eating, drinking, and praying.

The steps are mirrored to create the “s’chach” and transform into earthen vessels that catch Autumn’s leaves. These floating formations of earth symbolize the clouds of glory that protected the wanderers of the desert.

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