the world's most visited architecture website

Jewish Community Center Mainz / Manuel Herz Architects

  • Architects: Manuel Herz Architects
  • Location: Mainz, Germany
  • Architects: Manuel Herz Architects, Basel and Cologne - Manuel Herz
  • Project Team: Construction Design: Elitsa Lacaze; Hania Michalska, Michael Scheuvens, Peter Sandmann
  • Concept Design: Cornelia Redeker, Sven Röttger, Sonja Starke
  • Project Management: Mainzer Aufbaugesellschaft mbH
  • Site Supervision: Klaus Dittmar Architekt, Mainz
  • Landscaping: Harald Heims, Mainz
  • Structural Engineering: Arup GmbH, Düsseldorf
  • Electrical Engineering: K. Dörflinger GmbH, Allendorf
  • Building Physics: IBC Ingenieurbau Consult GmbH, Mainz
  • Ceramic Facade Planning: Niels Dietrich Keramikwerkstatt, Cologne
  • Building Services: House of Engineers, Mainz
  • Fire Services: Ingenieurbüro Ingo Petry, Mainz
  • Acoustical Planning: Ingenieurgesellschaft für Technische Akustik, Wiesbaden
  • Area: 2500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan

From the architect. Few Jewish communities used to surpass the one of Mainz in importance and tradition. During the Middle Ages being the major center of religious teaching, this importance can be traced back to a series of influential Rabbis, especially Gershom ben Judah (960 to 1040) whose teachings and legal decisions had impact on Judaism at large. His wisdom was deemed to be so large that he was given the name “הגולא מאור“ - ‘Light of Diaspora’. The new Jewish Community Center of Mainz attempts to draw out this tradition

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

The history of the Jews of Mainz though, has also witnessed a different side. In almost no other city have Jews been persecuted so often throughout history, and have still time and again attempted to build up a Jewish community as in this so seemingly serene city of Mainz. Since the first mention of Jews in ‘Magenza’ around the year 900 the communities have been eradicated in a tragic regularity. And still, a few years later Jews found the courage to settle again in Mainz. Thus, almost paradigmatically Mainz embodies hope, learning and an unshakable belief in a future, and at the same time the destruction of Jewish culture and people over more than one millennium.

model 04
model 04

After the Holocaust the community is founded again by a small group of Jews. Up until the 1980s approximately 75 Jewish families are living in Mainz when immigration of Jews from the former Soviet republics increases this number sixfold. The existing spaces in a small residential building cannot fulfill the demands of the growing community for religious, social and cultural activities anymore. A new building for a synagogue plus community center becomes necessary, constructed on the site of the former main ‘Synagogue Hindenburgstrasse.’

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Jewish Community Center Mainz / Manuel Herz Architects" 11 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>