Temple Israel, Portsmouth, NH
Originally a Methodist church built in 1824, Temple Israel now houses a Hebrew School, a library, a community hall & kitchen, administrative offices and a daily worship space in addition to the main worship area. We were asked to create an inviting new entrance to the facility, reorganize the spaces for better access and insert a second level into the existing two story hall. The new entry steps down to meet congregants, its temple front modeled from America's first synagogue in Newport, RI. Inside, the Jerusalem stone wall & floor help impart the traditions of this ancient faith. The cedar vaulted vestibule harkens back to ancient Jewish building traditions. Each day, the passage of time is marked by the moving sun shadow cast by the Star of David window placed high in the gable. The new "Shmoozatorium" is believed to be the only one of its kind.