Inaugurated on Tuesday 29 October by Emmanuel Macron, the new European Center of Judaism, designed by the agency Stéphane Maupin Architectures, is located at the door of the city, in the 17th district of Paris. Beyond worship, this 5,000 m² building will be a vast place of exchange and knowledge, including a synagogue, showrooms and exhibition halls, study and conference spaces, and a cultural center.
At the time of Notre Dame’s tragedy, building a sacred building is a sensitive topic. Minds hesitate between nostalgic passion and futuristic fervor. However, this dilemma must be answered by providing a satisfactory answer to all characters.
The building will be modern, and its craftsmanship will return to the promised land. The center of Judaism, with all its pieces, is a landscape of Israel. Both in their plastics and their powers of evocation. “First of all, it will be a place of openness and exchange, which will make it possible, beyond the religious aspect, to better know the history, the festivals, the culture, and all the nuances and sensitivities that make up the richness of the French Jewish community”, says Joël Mergui, President of the Consistory.
The building is a combination of four entities in a single structure. It brings together a religious pole, a cultural pole, an inner garden and an associative pole, oriented towards the knowledge of Judaism. The project therefore wants to be a unique whole while allowing an autonomy of each of its parts by organizing around the large synagogue, visible to passersby from the street. This piece is the sensitive element of the construction, in the same time discreet and remarkable, placed on a common base to all parts of the program.
The concrete facades applies to all volume. The unity of materials allows the reading of the center of Judaism as a whole. The pieces are gradually identified by different openings and specific treatments.
The offices support a metal facade made of grating, officiating in solar shading. The metal façade is seen here as an act of sustainable development. In fact, the manufactured gratings produced in large series, generally used for outdoor floors are exposed here, highlighted as a noble element of façade siding.
The synagogue splits up the sky alternating solids and elongated stained glass. The school is pierced with conventional openings to associate itself with the regularity of adjacent Haussman Windows. It is thus a balanced whole that integrates into the plot, where height, length, width animate and distinguish themselves to make only one.
The new European Center of Judaism alternates between massivity and conviviality, brilliance and transparency, noble materials and brutality. At the time of sustainable development, it shows the economy of means while promoting an eclecticism of materials. By caring for the spectacular without ostentation, the building offers a refined sobriety.
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Whatever the type or scale of projects, the agency seeks the pleasure of designing, building, at the crossroads of cultural issues, motivations and diverse interests, sometimes contradictory. With a particular interest in respecting the environment, all the projects developed by the agency are certified, labeled and meet the thermal regulations in force.
The environmental approach of projects takes into account the well-being of all communities, the use of the building, the relevance of the structural and technical choices, its possible transformation over time and the recycling of its components.
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