Studio Ames, New York, NY

Artist Statement

Our proposal, Trudi, for the SukkahxDetroit design competition, capitalizes on paradoxical conditions associated with the Jewish festival of Sukkot by reinterpreting the fundamental elements of a traditional sukkah. The walls and roof of the temporary dwelling, used for eating and sleeping during the holiday, put into dialogue the juxtaposition between traditional and modern materials, notions of transparency and opacity, as well as qualities of ephemerality and monumentality. By using wood, rope and bark, we honor the tradition of using natural materials, yet through the treatment of the materials in white, they become abstract, differentiating themselves from the natural elements of the park as well as the urban fabric of the city. Thus, the project weaves together worldly and fundamental materials of the typology with the religious and sacred imagery of the holiday. The walls are constructed of structural members held in tension, challenging typical load-bearing capacities, and thus further highlighting the project’s inversion of construction tendencies. The spacing of the rope members allows the structure to be both transparent enough to be inviting and dense enough to provide a sense of enclosure. Elements for reading, eating and sleeping within the space are canopied by a woven roof made of rope, bark strips and leaves, leaving small openings to the sky, making a unique constellation from the natural elements. Finally, all of these elements come into harmony by our use of the Star of David as the structure’s diagram plan. Thank you for your time and consideration.