Young Israel of Plainview by
Alexander Gorlin Architects

This new Sanctuary for 450 congregants is an addition to an existing synagogue and social hall. The building is organized as a series of interlocking volumes that reflect the separation of men and women during religious services as required by the Orthodox Jewish tradition. In a progressive spirit, the mystical concept of the "Shekhinah", the feminine aspect of God, is invoked to open the women’s section to nature through the extensive use of glass windows, which flood the space with light. The men’s section is defined by a rough concrete block wall, lit by a long skylight, and recalls the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The sacred scrolls of the Torah are set in a cabinet of subtly colored squares and rectangles that create a shimmering surface pattern—a modern reinterpretation of stained glass.  A balcony with additional seating looks out over the Sanctuary while translucent LUMAsite panels bathe the area in soft, warm light.

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