Temple Beth Israel, Synagogue renovation and addition, Charlottesville, Va.

The Congregation Beth Israel had both outgrown its original sanctuary building, built there around the turn of the 20th century, and a subsequent addition. The problem was how to more than quadruple the space found in the original structure without eclipsing the historic structure. Andy, as Project architect with BRW Architects, headed up a design team that initialized concepts with the congregation, designed, documented and then administered construction for a 14,000 sf. addition and renovation to meet the new needs of the congregation. The project, included a gathering space for 400, small sanctuary, kitchen, classrooms, offices, elevator access, library and court. The design was envisioned as a “village” and worked in deference to the original historic structure. The new large hall has the original temple wall as one of its sides. In awarding the project its Honor Award, the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects jury appreciated the design as a reinterpretation of the gothic. The project also received an Honor Award from the Alliance for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA). It was important that the house of worship celebrated both the history of one of the oldest congregations and their decision to keep the growing congregation in its historic downtown location.