MORE ABOUT: Synagogue – Munich, Germany
The Synagogue in Munich, built in 2007, features a special cube shaped atrium rising out of the sanctuary (figure 1). The atrium is a delicate combination of a steel cage structure supporting aluminum and glass, shrouded in a bronze mesh which helps filter the light coming in. To understand the details of the central atrium it helps to appreciate the symbolism and cultural significane behing it. The cube which rests atop the stone structure below it is is structural independent and sits on its 4 corners. With its self supporting structure, the cube is reminiscent the Temple of Soloman with its mobile, tabernacle tent.
In addition, the structure which is composed of tessalating steel triangles conveniently creates the image of the six-pointed star of david repeating on its facade (figure 2).
A more suble feature of symbolic significants is the use of 3 different metals to construct cube (Figure 3: Roof and Wall Contruction) The way the three metals interact with each other and the environment creates a dynamic similar to the story of conflicts between various people of Europe. The steel structure attaches to the aluminum which holds the glass envelope. and also stainless steel posts which support the bronze skin. All three of these metals have the potencial to corrode each other over a long period of time if not in proper contact.
The structural independence of the cube atrium allows for a all four sides of it to be open so that worship can be practiced from three of those sides. This independence is also utilized to allow a sky light on the side of the sanctuary where the choir performs (Figure 4)