|Kister Scheithauer Gross Architects and Urban Planners (KSG) designed the new 1,980-square-meter (21,300-square-foot) Weinhof Synagogue in Ulm, Germany. Photo: © Christian Richters|
Cologne-based Kister Scheithauer Gross Architects and Urban Planners (KSG) designed the 4.6-million-Euro building, which stands in the middle of the Weinhof, a short distance from the site of the former synagogue, which was destroyed during World War II.
|Inside the worship space of the Weinhof Synagogue. Photo: © Christian Richters|
The Weinhof Synagogue's most visually dramatic feature is a two-story stone screen that wraps around one corner at the second and third floors, shading a tall glazed walls behind which the worship space is located. The screen is composed of a regular arrangement of hexagons and triangles that form a repeating Star of David pattern.
|The synagogue's orthogonal facade. Photo: © Christian Richters|
While the building and many of its spaces are organized with a strict orthogonal orientation, the 125-seat worship space is focused on a diagonal along an imaginary line that points to Jerusalem.
Around, above, and below this space are arranged the synagogue's other spaces, including a foyer, Mikvah, meeting hall, school, and administrative rooms. A day care center, with an enclosed outdoor play area is located directly above the worship space.
|Weinhof Synagogue site plan drawing. Image: KSG|
Professor Susanne Gross, the KSG partner responsible for the project, offered some additional perspective on the building's importance to the Jewish community of Ulm:
"The synagogue and the Jewish community centre are included in one single structure. The compact cuboid is free standing in the square. This position is historical: in the Kristallnacht in 1938, the former synagogue, which was enclosed in a road-side development, was destroyed. After World War II, a secular building was constructed in the space. The synagogue and the Jewish community lost its ancestral place in the centre of Ulm. The construction of the current synagogue has opened a new site, in the middle of the square. It is as though the synagogue has taken a step forward from its former position, it has reclaimed its location. With no constructed borders, it stands abrupt and solitary on the Weinhof."
|Looking out from an upper-floor window opening. Photo: © Christian Richters|
- Client: Israelite Religious Community of Württemberg statutory corporation
- Hospitalstraße 36, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany
- Board of directors: Barbara Traub, Susanne Jakubowski, Michael Kashi Contact: Lars Neuberger, Tel. +49-(0)711-228 36 24
- Occupant: Rabbi Shneur Trebnik and the orthodox Jewish community of Ulm
- General contractor: Matthäus Schmid Bauunternehmen GmbH & Co. KG, Baltringen
- Project management: nps Bauprojektmanagement GmbH, Ulm
|The screen at night. Photo: © Christian Richters|
- City of Ulm Mayor: Ivo Gönner
- Head of construction: Alexander Wetzig
- kister scheithauer gross architects and urban planners, Cologne, Germany
- Design/responsible partner: Prof. Susanne Gross
- Project manager, artistic director: Grzegorz Rybacki
- Team: Fritz Keuten, Matthes Langhinrichs, Stefan Schwarz, Paul Youk
|A sleek concrete and steel stair. Photo: © Christian Richters|
- Structural analysis: Dr.-Ing. W.Naumann & Partner, Cologne, Germany
- Thermo gravimetric analysis: ZWP AG, Cologne, Germany
- Acoustics: ISRW Dr.-Ing. Klapdor GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany
- Building physics: Ing.-Büro für Bauphysik Heinrichs, Cologne, Germany
- Fire safety: BFT Cognos, Aachen, Germany
- Competition: 11/2009
- Performance time: 2010-2012
- Start of construction: 03/2011
- Completion: 12/2012
- Gross floor space: 1,980 square meters (21,300 square feet)
- Construction costs: 4.6 million euros