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  4. Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects

Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects

  • 01:00 - 25 August, 2009
Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects
Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects

Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects +18

  • Architects

  • Project Team

    Stanley Saitowitz, John Winder, Michael Luke, Charles Shin, Benny Ho
  • Structural Engineering

    KPFF Consulting Engineers
  • Landscaping

    David Reed Landscape Architects
  • Client

    Congregation Beth Sholom
  • General Contractor

    DPR Construction Inc.
  • Project Year


From the architect. Mechanical, Electrical, Lighting & Plumbing Engineering: Randall Lamb Associates

The menorah is the emanation of light, the representation of the unchanging and unified divine world. This object inspires the image for the buildings for Congregation Beth El. The plan optimizes the difficult topography with an entry turnaround and parking platform in the valley. An elevator rises from this level to a court formed between the existing structures—social hall, offices, and school building—and the new sanctuary; arcades added to the facades of the existing buildings unify the complex. The court is the focus, the connective space for the gathering of the congregation. All activities lead from this arrival court. The lobby of the sanctuary, on the east side of the court, is two stories with a glass roof above.

Traditional elements are interpreted in the language of the design: a tzedakah box, four slots for placing money embedded in a column, clocks to announce service times, kippah and tallit receptacles, a sink for hand-washing, and bookshelves. The sanctuary itself is a box of light. Paired thick concrete columns alternate with voids and glass to create the image of the menorah. On the glass columns the Five Books of Tehillim (psalms) are inscribed, providing a rich calligraphic tapestry of meaning. The interior evokes warmth and security with colors described by Moses for the Tabernacle: gold, purple, maroon, and blue. The furniture is dark walnut, and stars of light hang from the ceiling. Two floating galleries provide additional seating. In the middle of the court, a chuppah of four poles holds a Star of David. This is the center for wedding ceremonies and outdoor services.

Cite: "Beth El / Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects" 25 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


John Arnold · April 07, 2015

All designs are really good. fantastic work.. keep sharing

Architectural Visualization

megan fox no clothes · December 13, 2010

lol i know right · December 08, 2010

oh,guy,it'i realy great!

jsx · December 16, 2009

a great concrete exterior. it reminded me of Kanh's building at the first look. I do agree with orange that the exterior would be better if they remove the star. Interior doesn't seem to be that good, though.

Grace · September 28, 2009

how about that Berkerman... not even 1 decente remark.
that´s not nice!

Mary · September 25, 2009

Please BEKERMAN, shup up, I mean...

orange · August 26, 2009

What hideous interior finishes. Remove the Star of David gazebo and the outside is nice.

Ill · August 28, 2009 10:09 AM

I wouldn't say they're hideous - but I do believe they don't really achieve what the architects could have wanted. The exterior is better. Although they do use a symmetric scheme for an asymmetric access situation.

A good photo would have been the one from the base of the hill.

Dustin · August 26, 2009 06:48 PM

I agree some of the conceptual references seem to literal.

Yorik · August 26, 2009

The photos serie of the concrete elements is cool! This projects has a Salk institute feel...

sullka · August 26, 2009 06:24 PM

I thought the same as soon as I saw those exterior pictures in perspective.

Not that there's anything wrong with taking a few pointers from Kahn.

Excelent building.

richie · August 26, 2009

i like this building.
very nice.

Ronen Bekerman · August 26, 2009

When is was a child i used to go to the synagogue with my father and grandfather, but only to play outside with the other kids who had to go - to this one, I'll go anytime! such a cool design for this place... the exterior reminds me of classic Doric temples.

Richard V · September 25, 2009 03:16 PM

Don´t mess whith Bekerman... Is just dum.

Mary · September 25, 2009 03:10 PM

please shut up

Philip · September 25, 2009 03:06 PM

who cares?


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