20.5.14

Louis I. Kahn: Poetic Dimension to the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem

Appreciation a projectual 3D rendering, with the inclusion of its sources of inspiration, by Mariano Akerman

Subtle digital interpretation by Cerbella & Caponi in Florence


Magnificenza nella configurazione architettonica. Remarkable computarized graphic reconstructions of American architect Louis I. Kahn's Hurva Synagogue Project (first proposal, 1967-68). Digital animation work developed by Francesco Cerbella and Federico Caponi, University of Florence, November 2013 (Giorgio Verdiani, Seminario "Comunicare l'architettura e il design", Università degli Studi di Firenze).














Computarized graphic reconstruction of the Hurva Synagogue after Kahn (phase 1, 1967-68). Digital animation by Francesco Cerbella and Federico Caponi, University of Florence, November 2013 (Giorgio Verdiani, Seminario "Comunicare l'architettura e il design", Università degli Studi di Firenze; piano: Ludovico Einaudi - Ancora).

Abstract. "The video proposed here consists in the reconstruction of the Louis I. Kahn’s first proposal for Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem (the project was developed between 1968 and 1974). Kahn was used to incorporate elements [reminiscent] of […] ruins into most of his architecture, in 1967 he received a commission to [design] the [then] destroyed synagogue [popularly known as the] Hurva, […] Hebrew [term that means] "ruin". For Kahn, this project presented an extraordinary opportunity to express his most deeply felt ideas about architecture. It was his chance to build [a] great Jewish monument at the religious center of the new Jewish state, in the region where the three major Western religions were born. As the world's leading Jewish architect, Kahn was conscious of the huge responsibility of this commission. In this project it is possible to find [several traits] that characterize Kahn’s architecture: a configuration of space as discrete volumes, complex ambient light and shadow, a celebration of mass and structure, the use of materials with both modernist and archaic qualities. [In this project,] Kahn also expresses his concept of wrapping ruins around buildings: "The new building should itself consist of two buildings, an outer one which would absorb the light and heat of the sun, and an inner one, giving the effect of a separate but related building…". The outer building of synagogue recalls some ancient monumental ruin, perhaps from Egypt, or even [another one] from some more [a] remote past now lost to history. The video shows […] the whole [of Kahn's] composition, [… including its] relationship with [some] ancient ruins, [… understood as sources of] inspiration for the project" (Cerbella-Caponi, Contemporary Architecture and Ancient Suggestions - The Louis Kahn's Hurva Synagogue Project, Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies, CHNT 19, Vienna, November 2014).

Sources of inspiration: renderings of Kahn's project

• Francis D.K. Ching, Form, Space and Order, 1979.

Plan of the Hurva Synagogue, by Ching

• Kent Larson, "A Virtual Landmark", Progressive Architecture, September 1993, pp. 80-87

Computarized graphic section of the Hurva Synagogue, by Larson, MIT

Computarized graphic perspective, by Larson

Sources of inspiration: History of Architecture

• David Bruce Brownlee y David Gilson De Long, Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture, Nueva York and Los Ángeles, 1991, pp. 88-89.

Plans of Kahn's Hurva Synagogue and Fergusson's rendering of Solomon's Temple; comparison by Akerman after Brownlee y De Long.

• Mariano Akerman, "The Evocative Character of Louis Kahn's Hurva Synagogue Project, 1967-1974" (1996), in: The Real and Ideal Jerusalem in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Art, ed. Bianca Kühnel, CFJA, 1997-98, pp. 245-53.

Kanh's Hurva Synagogue model compared with the pylons of the Egyptian Temple of Horus in Edfu; compared by Akerman in 1996.

Resources

Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani 1936: Sinagoga

WKP: Hurva_Synagogue

• Louis Kahn, Order Is, 1960

• Kent Larson, Louis I. Kahn: Unbuilt Masterworks, 2000

• Mariano Akerman, "The Evocative Character of Louis Kahn's Hurva Synagogue Project, 1967-1974" (1996), en: The Real and Ideal Jerusalem in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Art, ed. Bianca Kühnel, CFJA, 1997-98, pp. 245-53.

• _____. Louis I. Kahn: dimensión poética para la Sinagoga Hurva en Jerusalén

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