Page 1



[winner]2012IsukkahIcityIaustinIcompetition design:nickIsteshyn+peterIraab construction:nickIsteshyn+peterIraab+kevinIkinsey


this temporary sukkah structure is designed to create a place of shalom, or peace and security, where the occupant can be at once in harmony with nature, in totality, during the 7 day festival of sukkot. the concept for sukkah : shalom reinterprets tectonic qualities of earthbound materials [wood, rope, and metal] by removing these natural elements from the ground and in an open design that hovers just above the ground - allowing for the reification of the person with the space he or she occupies in the world. upon entering the sukkah, the connection with one’s surrounds is forced to be reinterpreted through a filigree of lightweight hemp rope, held in place by a lightweight structural wood frame, this combination of wood and rope present at once a sense of protection and security, while still being physically engaged with the natural enveloping the thin membrane of rope and wood lattice. this thin transparency is punctuated by a series of wooden apertures that create three distinct moments for reflection, marked not only by their potential for resting, reading, eating, reflection and prayer, but each is mapped with the solar angles on the seven day festival of sukkot, situated within Austin, Texas. It is within this sukkah that ones connection to natural is reinforced through the constant temporal reminder as these simple materials are animated by the interplay of sunlight during the day, and moonlight at night. The rope thatch is utterly open to wind and rain, day and night. this openness reminds us that spirituality is open to others, and that our life should be connected to natural elements and surroundings. combining two cherished ideals of sukkah : shalom.

view at entry [dawn chamber]

vertical moment-puncturing space [1/2” plywood w/ 2x2” framing] [interior-whitewashed white-sukkot tradition]

austin, texas [site]

rope sky filter-raised from frame [6” aluminum c-brackets] [2x4” frame]

sun path [sukkot]

rope wall filagree-on wood structure [2x4” vertical+2x8” horizontal-shelving] [3/8” organic hemp rope @ 3/4” o.c]

light wells + sun location

sculpted ground platform and seat [2x2” wood slats]

underlying structure [2x10” bracing]



plywood whitewash+stencil metal wood fasteners 3/8� manila rope walls + ceiling

wood slats floors + seating




noon chamber [reading-eating-praying]

dusk chamber [resting-praying-gazing]

dawn chamber [disconnecting-reconnecting]

platform plan

view of interior at night


“Enough boughs should be placed upon the sukkah so as to have more shade than sun. If it has more sun than shade, it is invalid. It is therefore necessary to put on enough branches, so that even if they should dry up, there would still be more shade than sun� [Code of Jewish Law, Condensed Version, Chapter 134].


“The sukkah must have a roof called a s’cach.The S’chach has to derive from things that have “grown from the ground”, such as palm leaves, bamboo sticks and pine tree branches.” “The s’chach must have been disconnected from the ground so, for example, placing a sukkah under the boughs of a tree would render it not valid. As a minimum, the s’chach must be thick enough that it provides more shade than light in the sukkah. As a maximum, there is a concept of being able to see the stars through the s’chach, but the absolute maximum is that rain should be able to penetrate into the sukkah.” “The s’chach may not be too tightly secured. This means that the s’chach may not be nailed down, nor tied down too tightly (and not every type of string may be used). You may bang a nail at each side of the s’chach, not to support the s’chach, but to prevent the pieces of s’chach from rolling off. “


sukkahcityaustin2012_"sukkah shalom"  
sukkahcityaustin2012_"sukkah shalom"  

Design: Nick Steshyn + Peter Raab Construction: Design: Nick Steshyn + Peter Raab + Kevin Kinsey