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Jewish Community Center / ODA, Office for Design and Architecture

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The Office for Design and Architecture has designed a new Jewish Community Center for Long Island, New York.  Sharing the site with an existing land mark synagogue from 1930, a school center from 1948 and a new wing of social facilities from 1966, the JCC’s space was limited.  Yet, the firm aimed to create a center that would serve as “an iconic sculptural statement in a moderately conservative community” even in the tight space.

More about the JCC after the break.

“The modern environmentally friendly building will represent this community as a symbol of the future. Its marriage to the historical buildings gives new perspective, new life and new meaning to the congregation and community at large,” explained the architects.

The JCC’s step back design, with the shortest part being closest to the temple and gradually growing to full height the farthest from the temple, allows the structure to compliment and not compete with the synagogue.  The center’s materials mix modern with traditional as white metal panels and glass rest upon a masonry base.

The entrance façade’s custom designed panels, the 12 panels symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel, are bent at an angle to create a clerestory window and bent at the top to create round skylights.  This configuration reduces energy consumption as natural light can fill spaces that need to be more private, such as the pool and the gymnasium.  All roofs are green and are accessible from the main program areas.  These open spaces allow the small site to not feel congested.

1st floor plan
1st floor plan
2nd floor plan
2nd floor plan
Cite:Karen Cilento. "Jewish Community Center / ODA, Office for Design and Architecture" 20 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>