the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. NJIT Graduates Create A Biodegradable Pavilion For Sukkahville 2014

NJIT Graduates Create A Biodegradable Pavilion For Sukkahville 2014

NJIT Graduates Create A Biodegradable Pavilion For Sukkahville 2014
NJIT Graduates Create A Biodegradable Pavilion For Sukkahville 2014, Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez
Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez

In the annual Sukkahville design competition in Toronto, entrants are challenged to reimagine the sukkah, a structure that the competition organizers describe as a "symbolic wilderness shelter, symbolizing the frailty and transience of life," traditionally built during the Jewish festival of Sukkot to commemorate the 40 years that the Jews spent wandering the desert. For the 2014 competition, New Jersey-based graduates Michael Signorile and Edward Perez created "Reflect.Reveal.Rebirth," a structure that responds to this challenge to create a transient space for contemplation by utilizing a biodegradable skin.

Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez The Sukkah after a rain shower. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez Close-up of the foam panels. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez + 20

Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez
Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez

Signorile and Perez describe the purpose of a Sukkah as "a transient space, where one goes to transcend their spiritual capacity. A Sukkah is time-less structure that comes and goes at the user’s discretion." With these principles in mind, the duo proposed a Sukkah that connects its users to nature, both through its naturally-inspired, "flowering" form which tapers to give visitors a view of the sky, but more importantly through the structure's cladding, which is made of a corn-based foam which dissolves when it comes into contact with water.

The Sukkah after a rain shower. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez
The Sukkah after a rain shower. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez

This design element creates a tension between the structure's temporary exterior and its solid, permanent structural ribs which adds an extra dimension to the supposed transience of the space. In the words of the designers, though it is up to the people that use it to dismantle their Sukkah entirely, the external appearance "lets nature decide when the sukkah needs a palette cleanse," as users must replace the foam cladding after it disintegrates in the rain.

Close-up of the foam panels. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez
Close-up of the foam panels. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez

The form of the Sukkah was created and refined using Grasshopper and Rhinoceros, in order to create the most efficient covering of the structure and reduce the material costs while the structural ribs were then cut using a CNC miller in such a way that they slot together.

Construction. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez
Construction. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez

Sandwiched between layers of the foam skin, leaves and grasses moderate the foam's translucency, providing a dappled pattern on the interior and adding to the sense of connection to nature by protruding from the edges of the panels. In order to provide a seamless connection between layers of the the corn foam, the designers used precise amounts of water to partially dissolve the foam, creating an adhesive effect that served to hold the skin in place.

Render of the design. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez
Render of the design. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez

"This project creates a dialogue between installation architecture and the permanence it can have," explain Signorile and Perez. "By using a material such as biodegradable corn foam, people can understand the implications of using unsustainable materials and where they go in their second life."

Cite: Rory Stott. "NJIT Graduates Create A Biodegradable Pavilion For Sukkahville 2014" 19 Apr 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/621551/njit-graduates-create-a-biodegradable-pavilion-for-sukkahville-2014/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments