Building a Sukkah, the Ultimate Design Brief

Curator: Nora Wolf
date: October 16, 2014
Categories: Art, Sustainable Design
Tags: architecture, holidays
Williamsburg balcony sukkahs

If you’ve been through Willamsburg this week you’ve probably seen a lot of what looks like huts, shacks or makeshift shelters. These are actually Sukkahs, part of Sukkot, a Jewish holiday. Until recently, I wasn’t very well educated about them. I knew that many families ate all their meals inside them, and some (even entire families) will sleep in their sukkah for the duration of the holiday. They're built for entertaining and being together, which sounds great to me!

There are several rules to consider while building the sukkah. Here are the two most basic:

1. A sukkah must have at least two and a half walls covered with a material that won't blow away in the wind. The walls of the sukkah do not have to be solid. 

2. The roof of the sukkah must be made of something that grew from the ground and was cut off, such as tree branches, corn stalks, bamboo reeds, sticks, or two-by-fours—and must be left loose, not tied together or tied down. Rain should be able to get in, and you should be able to see the stars, but there can't be more light than shade, so no more than 10 inches can be open at any point.

I thought the rules for a sukkah read a little like a design brief, and I knew there would be examples of architecturally considered sukkahs. Below are some of my favorites I found online. Not sure if they follow all the rules, but I enjoyed tracking these down.
Architect Sukkah
Very Modern Log Sukkah
Pinterest-ready Sukkah

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