The site, in a dense residential area in Dusseldorf, is surrounded by existing two story buildings with access through a quite courtyard, challenging the design with penetration of natural light and ventilation into the structure.
The client – the local Jewish community, asked the architects to plan in a green oriented design a community centre that will have as much active functions for varied ages to attract as much as possible community members.
The community centre (1,530 sqm) will house a synagogue, multi- purpose room, classes, offices, library, cafeteria, 2 shops, social center, purification- bath (Mikve) and kids play area with a baby café next to it.
The multi-purpose room is designed for lectures, Sunday school classes, ceremonies, festive dinners, small concerts and communal parties. Since the multi-purpose room is area limited, the prayer hall located adjacent to it and the sliding partitions can allow its expansion for those events.
Hasin Dvorachek Architects based in Israel cooperating with local architect Hannes Ehehalt, learned the site and its constraints and in order to expose the spaces to natural light “pushed” the sole façade wall as deep as they could to let natural light in, thus creating a nice outdoor garden to sit and enjoy cup of coffee and quite conversation.
Since the access to the site is through a hidden courtyard between the residential buildings, the architects wanted to create a dynamic façade that will draw people in to explore it, so they slanted the stone surface and glazed it along the horizontal circulation to reflect the movement from the inside to the exterior. When entering the community centre, you feel the openness with the exposed vertical circulation that also turns the building into an interactive visual experience.
To solve the lack of light, the architects designed sloped photovoltaic panels windows at the first floor that will bring light into the spaces that are far from the façade.
The Green roof has an exposed section to collect clean water for the purification pools (Mikves) located at the basement; it also has 9 scattered skylights that bring in light to dark spaces.
At the basement, the kids play area and the baby café is located and with the void above it, parents could have visual view of their children while they play.
At the moment the design is being approved at the city committee and will go through construction drawings soon.
Breaking ground is planned to mid 2013.