The Sukkah is a structure, erected for one week each fall, that commemorates the temporary dwelling structures used by the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt. Architecturally, the Sukkah simultaneously employs the ideas of transience and permanence. The fundamentals of the Sukkah are simple and well defined by laws regarding the requirements of its construction. It must have walls on 2-1/2 sides and a roof of natural materials that allows views of the stars at night while providing shade during the day.
Our Sukkah design reacts to the complexities of fashioning a shelter conveying historical, ritual, and spiritual aspirations. It re-imagines certain elements from the history of the Jewish people, using parts and assembly techniques similar to those used in erecting the Miskan, the temporary temple. The shape of the structure echoes that of the Estrog, one of the four species of fruit used collectively during the Sukkot holiday. This imagery is employed as form and ornament in a structure with a practical purpose: a dwelling, a place to eat and sleep. The participatory nature of the holiday involving the creation of and dwelling within the Sukkah is facilitated by the movable walls with built in seating which can be configured for either communal dining or privacy while sleeping.
The Sukkah City design competition was organized by the Jewish cultural organization Reboot and was hosted in New York City during September, 2010.