Photo © Steve Hall
Photo © Steve Hall
Photo © Steve Hall
Photo © Steve Hall
Drawing © Ross Barney Architects
Drawing © Ross Barney Architects
Photo © Steve Hall
Photo © Steve Hall
Photo © Steve Hall
Photo © Steve Hall

JRC Synagogue

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Location
Evanston, IL
Year
2008
Cost
1M - 100M
Stories
1-5 Stories
Client

Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation

Program
42,000 square foot Synagogue

Photography
Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing Photographers

LEED PLATINUM CERTIFIED
AIA COTE TOP TEN GREEN PROJECT

JRC’s commitment to Tikkun Olam – Hebrew for “repairing the world” – informed the design of the new 31,600 sf synagogue.  The first house of worship to achieve LEED Platinum required a holistic approach to sustainable strategies.  

The solution, a precious wooden box, is a visual testament to these values. The wood cladding is recycled cypress harvested from demolished barns.  The building makes a sustainable transition by using  existing foundations and demolition spoils as engineered fill.  Trees that could not be preserved were harvested for use within the building. Construction waste was placed in gabions and used to create site features.  40% of materials are regionally manufactured with Jerusalem Stone as the deliberate exception.  The Jerusalem stone wall, representing less than 1% of the modest $230/sf cost, was included for its spiritual connection and anchors the box to create a baseline for all activities. The processional stair outside the wall provides a meaningful and eventful transition between spaces.

Offices, early childhood program, and chapel occupy the first floor; religious school and library are on the second floor; the sanctuary, social hall and kitchen are on the third floor, a strategy that allowed cost effective construction of high volume space for the sanctuary.

Other Projects by Ross Barney Architects

Oklahoma City Federal Building
Oklahoma City, OK
Levy Senior and Community Center
Evanston, IL
Champaign Public Library
Champaign, IL
Commodore John Barry Elementary School
Philadelphia, PA
Fermilab OTE Building
Batavia, IL
U Chicago Child Development Center Drexel
Chicago, IL