Architects: Ren Tian, Gu Lik Hang, Patchara Wongboonsin Location: Cambridge, MA, USA Project Area: 144 sqf Project Year: 2011 Photographs: Ren Tian, Patchara Wongboonsin
The Sukkah design build competition, organized by Harvard GSD in conjunction with the Jewish Club with sponsorship provided by Harvard Hillel, recently announced the winning design by Tian Ren, Nick Gu and Patchara Wongboosin.
Conceived as an emulation of the 40 year journey of the ancient Israelites through the desert, the narrow entry of the Sukkah compresses the individual before opening up to the main gathering space. The patterning of the wooden screen is achieved via standard wooden profiles bolted together with threaded rods. The façade functions as both a screen that allows for variation of visual connection with the exterior and structural support. A construction technique was employed that specifically avoids the use of longitudinal members in order to maintain a fluid language of layering that plays with the visual transparency of the space within, depending on viewing angle.
The design team utilized parametric software to hone the design. This process allowed for efficient studying of the various aspects of the design ranging from density of members, cross section profiles and the final output custom individual components. The Sukkah was built with the help of several student volunteers in addition to structural consultation from Switzerland based engineer Jurg Conzett, who is guest lecturing at the GSD. Currently, the Sukkah is being enjoyed by the local student population and the sponsors for various activities.