Posts tagged with "Temples":

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Burning Man's radiant 2020 temple is revealed

This year, Burning Man will be getting an eight-pointed star structure called Empyrean as their official temple. Designed by architect and artist Laurence “Renzo” Verbeck and artist Sylvia Adrienne Lisse, who met while working on the 2019 temple, Empyrean will take a central role in Black Rock City, reaching 70 feet tall and spanning a diameter of 200 feet. The Burning Man journal wrote the project was selected for its “lovely geometry and inclusive design,” though it is not immediately clear what “inclusive” might mean in this context. The structure will feature eight wooden canopies arranged like the spokes of the wheel ,which start off solid on the ground and are cut with tessellated patterns towards the top to allow sunlight in. Within the triangular canopies will be spaces for offerings. Along the way, visitors will pass under “saffron-colored” fabrics. They can also write prayers on “Empyrean Flags” which will be hoisted up. According to the temple’s Kickstarter, after giving the prayers to the wind they will be burned alongside the entire structure. Multiple entrances will lead to a central gathering space. Above this atrium will be a wooden structure containing the “flame,” which is meant to be visible from across the Playa (for everyone’s safety, the flame is not real, just an electric simulation). As Lisse told Burning Man’s journal: “The Temple is a subtle and humble beacon that radiates at an indescribable magnitude.” According to Verbeck and Lisse, the eight-pointed star is a “symbol brought forward from our early human understanding of the intelligent order that underlies our universe” that has “represented hope, abundance, transformation, direction, justice, balance of duality, and harmony between the profound and mundane.” The geometric arrangement “activates the temple as a transformative healing portal” for Burners while the pointsdisgorge their energy skyward.” Visitors can enter and exit from any point, all passing through the physical and spiritual center of the temple. This multidimensional experience is meant to resonate with Burning Man’s 2020 “Multiverse” theme which “explores the quantum kaleidoscope of possibility, the infinite realities of the multiverse, and our own superpositioning as actors and observers in the cosmic Cacophony of resonant strings” and invites attendees to investigate if their realities will be “augmented, bifurcated, or omnidimensional?” As the official website notes: “Only time will tell. Or has told. Or is telling.” The temple’s title is derived from the theological term which denotes the pinnacle of heaven, in most cosmologies to which it is applied, home to the fire element. While Burning Man has provided $100,000 in funding, the creators are seeking an additional $100,000 to realize the project.
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OMA unveils dramatically sloped cultural center for historic L.A. temple

OMA’s first cultural building for California has been revealed, as the firm provided a first look at the forthcoming Audrey Irmas Pavilion in Los Angeles, a cultural center for the neighboring Wilshire Boulevard Temple. OMA New York was commissioned for the project after winning a design contest in 2015, and the completed cultural center will sit next to, and dialogue with, L.A.'s oldest synagogue. The historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple was built in 1929 in the Byzantine-Revival style, and deference to the institution informed the Audrey Irmas Pavilion’s design. The serious slope on the building’s west façade will push it away from the existing temple, while it also leans south and away from a historic school. Located on an intersection, the dramatic forces that influenced the building’s orientation have also resulted in the pavilion “reaching out” to Wilshire Boulevard. “We wanted to focus on communicating the energy of gathering and exchange,” said lead designer Shohei Shigematsu in a statement. “The pavilion is an active gesture, shaped by respectful moves away from the surrounding historic buildings, reaching out onto Wilshire Boulevard to create a new presence. Within the building, a series of interconnected meeting spaces at multiple scales provide ultimate flexibility for assembly while maintaining visual connections that establish outdoor indoor porosity and moments of surprise encounters.” The pavilion will hold three distinct gathering spaces throughout, including a main event space, smaller multi-purpose room, and a sunken garden. Each of the interior spaces will be stacked vertically and arranged to give visitors specifically framed views, while remaining interlinked. The scattered openings across the pavilion’s hexagonal façade are meant to filter light to each gathering space while also reorienting guests to the rest of the campus. “Audrey Irmas Pavilion, designed by OMA—the firm’s first cultural building in California—will offer an irresistible invitation to gather, celebrate, learn and reach out to others,” said Rabbi Steve Leder in a statement. “In a city so large and diverse, we need community, and we need inspiring, welcoming places. Los Angeles deserves a modern masterpiece devoted to bringing people together, located in the heart of the city’s most diverse neighborhood. We are very proud that Wilshire Boulevard Temple will be a vital part of a cultural, religious and socially conscious conversation that is defining 21st Century Los Angeles.” The Audrey Irmas Pavilion is named after philanthropist Audrey Irmas, who spearheaded the capital campaign for the project in 2015 with a $30 million donation. The L.A.-based Studio-MLA will be serving as the project's landscape architect, while Gruen Associates are cited as the executive architect. OMA expects to break ground on the center this year, with plans to open in 2020.
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Koning Eizenberg combines symbolism and craft for a new chapel in Hollywood

It took decades of piecemeal construction—a new day school here, a dank brick chapel there—to build the Temple Israel of Hollywood (TIOH). But it would require 10 years of work by Koning Eizenberg Architecture to transform the 90-year-old Spanish Colonial Revival–style temple into a flexible and social campus for worship. So far, the project has yielded a collection of generous, sunlit spaces, including a sculptural multiuse chapel.

The chapel is a study in contrasts: A large glass wall populated by staggered, canted window panes fronts a courtyard framed by the masonry-clad temple and a low administrative wing, the glass surfaces of the new chapel sheathed by a folded-aluminum louver system. That steel-supported shade was meticulously designed and fabricated against the restrictive physical tolerances of the aluminum material—its design is partially inspired by the ceremonial tallit cloth. The expanse is interrupted by a wall enclosing the Ark of the chapel, an extra-thick volume that appears to be made of solid sandstone but is actually hollow inside. The sedimentary exterior treatment on the Ark is achieved by hand-applying compositions of different colored sands and tiny pebbles—brought to Los Angeles from congregants’ visits to Jerusalem—over a shotcrete substrate.

Nathan Bishop, principal at KEA and project designer for TIOH, explained that a tight budget forced the architects to develop custom but frugal approaches. “There are no off-the-shelf products,” Bishop explained regarding the chapel’s major components.

Along the inside of the chapel, the Ark itself is interrupted by a large vertical screen made of CNC-milled maple. The Ark screen is decorated by a dense geometric pattern that conceals a space containing a Torah. The chapel interior is topped by a suspended CNC-milled, segmented plywood ceiling. Its crisscrossing and angular profiles sweep from east to west, variable peaks and valleys rising and falling to create a cavernous lid. The segments allow for the ceiling to have two readings: an airy structure from below, and a solid one from afar.

Bishop explained that among the Ark wall, sunshade, and chapel ceiling, the designers aimed to establish an open-ended dialogue between architecture and ritual. The sunshade, for example, can exist as a discrete architectural element reflecting light every which way, while remaining vaguely associated with “something that feels like the frayed end of the tallit,” as Bishop put it.

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ISIS militants demolish ancient heritage sites in Syria after vowing to leave them unharmed

World heritage sites in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria are being bombed by the militant group ISIS. The 2,000-year-old Temple of Baalshamin and Temple of Bel in Palmyra, designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites, have allegedly been destroyed by the terrorist group. Images featuring the explosion posted through social-media accounts in affiliation with ISIS depict the bombings. The destruction of these ancient temples follows the public execution of Khaled al-Assad, age 82, a scholar and keeper of Palmyra and Syrian antiquities at the hands of ISIS militants on Tuesday, August 18. According to an Associated Press report in the Los Angeles Times, a UNESCO official said the removal of these monuments is the "most brutal, systematic" destruction of historic sites since World War II. ISIS has also targeted other ancient sites including St. Elian Monastery and its 5th century tomb, the report added. UNESCO has called these demolitions war crimes. In late August, the group struck again at the Temple of Bel. The Guardian reported on August 30 that the group made the claim over social media. The structure was built in 32 AD. After gaining control of the city early March 2015, ISIS' commander in Palmyra, Abu Laith al-Saoudy, was reported stating that it was the group's intention to preserve and leave unharmed the historic city of Palmyra. "What we will do is break the idols that the infidels used to worship. The historic buildings will not be touched and we will not bring bulldozers to destroy them like some people think.”