Jewish Community Center with Synagogue
Jewish Community Center with Synagogue, Regensburg
With the Jewish Community Center in the heart of Regensburg‘s old town, the historical “Sacred Triangle”, composed of the Catholic Dome, the Protestant New Parish Church and the Jewish Synagogue, has been restored. The new extension designed by Staab Architekten with meditative clarity integrates well with the beautiful existing building and supplements it with a magical light-flooded synagogue and further inviting spaces for the now grown Jewish community of Regensburg.
In 2015, the team of Staab Architekten from Berlin won the limited realization competition of the Jewish Community in Regensburg.
The lighting devices in all indoor spaces of the new building are fully integrated and concealed. Low glare recessed downlights follow the library shelves and are also located in the corridors and education rooms.
Simultaneously, the designers attached great importance to maintaining the building’s calmness and clarity and to not superimpose it with various installations. The solution was a coffered ceiling, that accommodates smoke detectors, speakers and sprinklers in its cavities. A white grid visually closes off the coffers towards the bottom – permeable to light and air, yet a surface that shrouds technical elements of any kind. Centered in every coffer is an E27 socket with an LED retrofit lamp. These luminaires create the space’s ambient brightness. These luminaires create the space’s ambient brightness. They lend a soft luminous presence to the vertical lamellae of the grid below. Through the multiplication of the coffers and their light sources a rhythmically modulated luminous ceiling emerges that unfolds great vigor in its perspective view. Although low for its size, the space never seems squat, but friendly and inviting.
Located on the 1st floor is the double-height synagogue space with its gallery. The building volume that is most active in the urban context is located on the new building’s South-East corner and forms a massive cube with a shallow wooden dome.
For the lighting orchestration, a powerful, narrow-beam grazing light channel in 2,700 K is following the outline of the inner roof edge. It is concealed inside a recess above the windows and segmented in length in order to follow the soft curvature of the dome without disruptions.
The synagogue’s functional light is provided by pendant luminaires. Surrounded by the circumferential gallery, they form a field that mirrors the curvature of the dome. The diffuse cylinders give a soft presence to the space, gently illuminate the faces and song books of the worshippers, and even reach the space underneath the gallery.
Through the interplay between the directional backlighting of the lamellae and the soft ambient light a multilayered room emerges that allows the creation of various moods by virtue of activating different components.
With the sole exception of the lamellae backlighting the color temperature in the synagogue – as in the entire building – is 3,000 K. This creates a delicate visual warmth that is also fresh and contemporary.