Lincoln Square Synagogue

Lincoln Square Synagogue
New York, NY

In 2013, the Lincoln Square Synagogue completed a 6-year, $50 million project to establish a new home, featuring a 5,000-square-foot glass façade and 420-seat sanctuary. The project presented some difficulty for Moore + Friesl because they were hired by MillerBlaker after the building was more than 2/3 complete to develop custom wood paneling that could be precisely installed into an unusual horseshoe-shaped sanctuary, which meets a curved tiered glass wall.

Moore +Friesl needed to locate previously installed ductwork and structural elements installed by the prior contractor, so they commissioned a 3-D scan of the main space, which provided an 1/8” accurate model of the internal components. Armed with this information, Moore + Friesl could develop and fabricate a support structure for the metal studs to hang the incoming wood panels around the existing elements. Without this scan, the panels could never properly fit.

They created special templates to position the metal studs, and after the stud framing was installed, the templates were left in place as part of the structure for hanging the special panels. This system allowed for a very accurate installation of the panels on site, and in the end, the team designed 21-foot-high faceted and tilted panels, with average panels 16 feet in height, arranged and fitted tightly in 2 tiers surrounding around the worship space.

The result is an uplifting space where light streams in through the glass window wall and creates a dynamic visual effect on the faceted panels with different values of light.