9.11.2009

The New Synagogue in Dresden, Germany

Las implicaciones sobre la estabilidad y la fragilidad de la arquitectura de la sinagoga se caracterizan por un dualismo material: una estructura monolítica de prefabricados de hormigón y piedras y una estructura interior de tela metálica. La estructura de piedra de la sinagoga gira siguiendo la geometría del sitio y la exigencia de su orientación hacia el este. El volumen curvilíneo del complejo se basa en un cambio simple y gradual de 41 capas ortogonales formadas por elementos de 120x60x60 cm. En contraste con la estructura monolítica, el interior de la sinagoga está enmarcado por una tela metálica lisa la cual, suspendida de una rejilla de techo de hormigón, constituye el espacio básico de la adoración.


Double Destruction
Dresden is characterised by two destructions: Gottfried Semper’s synagogue in the «Reichskristallnacht» on 9th of november 1938 and the entire historical city on 13th and 14th february 1945 by allied bombings. The destructions are historically linked. Yet the architectural consequences couldn’t be more different. On the one hand Dresden reproduces the historical monuments (like the Frauenkirche as the most emblematic reconstruction), establishing a false continuity and a problematic pretension of architectural stability. On the other hand the new synagogue represents an attempt which investigates the conflict between stability and fragility, between the permanent and the temporary, the temple and the tabernacle.

Coherence and Autonomy
Inserted in the sloped topography of the site a central courtyard acts as a connecting element between the various uses of the synagogue and the community centre. The physical coherence is maintained by the use of a continious material (precast concrete stones with sand aggregates). Each building however has a character of its own: the synagogue is a concentrated place of worship and meditation, its structure relating to the Elbe River and becoming part of the Dresden skyline. The community centre refers to the urban fabric and creates a new entrance situation to the centre of the city.

The Synagogue: Temple and Tabernacle
Exploring the implications of stabiliy and fragility the architecture of the synagogue is characterized by a material dualism: a monolithic structure of precast concrete stones and an interior structure of metallic textile. The twisting stone structure of the synagogue follows the geometry of the site and the requirement of an orientation towards the east. The complex, curvilinear volume is based on a simple, gradual shift of 41 orthogonal layers, formed by elements of 120x60x60 cm.
In contrast to the monolithic structure, the interior of the synagogue is framed by a smooth metallic textile. Suspended from a concrete ceiling grid it constitutes the basic space of worship. The brass textile,developped with a clothing manufacturer, provides a specific auratic light. Wooden furniture of differing size characterises the interiror of the «tent»: a balcony, pews, the bima (a lectern) and the Torah shrine in the east. The position of the central religious elements refers and highlights the spatial conflict of the synagogue: a both longitudinal and central space.

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