Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) moved from an existing small and hidden space in the Westbeth to it’s new home in a Landmarked Cass Gilbert Building, which was originally configured as a handbag store and a fur store. The existing building was a challenge, with an existing column grid and limited access to light. The design team was able to work within these constraints to provide thoughtful and significant spaces for worship, chorus, community and social activism. In order to provide light to the sanctuary a wall is canted out from the base with skylights above, washing the patterned concrete wall with light. The column grid, which is relentless throughout the building and was the biggest challenge, serves double duty as the Ner Tamid.
As Project Architect with Architecture Research Office
Client: Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
Location: New York, NY
Size: 15,000 SF
Scope: LEED Gold Interior renovation
Status: Completed 2017