Office Feuerman (OF) were the Artistic Directors for SUCCAH BY THE SEA, a temporary outdoor exhibition as part of Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2019.
OF curated six Sydney-based architects to re-imagine the traditional Jewish structures of the festival of Succot. During this festival, temporary dwellings, the Succah, are guided by a specific network of design constraints, built, and occupied by families for eating, sleeping, studying and gathering.
OF provided the creative vision and project management of this exhibition, liaising closely with Shalom, the artists, architects, Sculpture by the Sea and engineers to bring this project to life.
The succah is a structure with minimal design rules, Hebrew scripture only specifies the number of walls, minimum and maximum heights, and the type of detached plant material that can be used for the roof, offering an architect myriad opportunity for reinvention. Each of the six selected studios has leveraged both ancient design and philosophical guidelines to rethink traditional representations of the succah.
“Inside-Out Succah” faces outwards, initiating conversation in an inclusive community setting. “Trace” considers ideas of permanence with the heaviness of stone that is exposed to the corrosion of the elements. Environmentalism is key to the design process of “Supersuccah”, using an algorithm to ensure zero-wastage of materials. “Monolitus Domum” sensitively focuses our attention on the fragility of our natural environment through a singular view to the sky. “Dune,” creates an open home by providing temporary protection from wind and sun. And “A Portable Territory,” with its lightweight and movable structure, fosters interaction in a globalised world.
Together, these six structures form a unique installation, engineered to prompt different layers of community interaction. Tables and benches designed in tandem with the succahs encourage gathering. A collection of six reflective tables and benches designed to respond to each of the Succah structures. The ‘Village’ encourages people to sit and gather, the mirrored top providing a reflection of the surrounding environment. Their placement communicates not only the core ritual of eating and drinking together in these structures during the festival, but the importance of a global community engaging in meaningful discourse on issues that are fundamental to all.
At the heart of Succot is the celebration of community. A time in the year where family and friends come together to eat, drink, sing and create joyous memories together. The placement of these six different Succah in one location defines a unique public community at the heart of Sydney’s coastline.