“RISING FROM ASHES”: the sukkah with this theme built by Studio Hillier, one of eight architectural firms to participate in Sukkah Village Princeton 2021, was created and built by Julian Edgren with the help of Dustin Bailey, all two up-and-coming designers at the company, with the support of Oliver Pelosi, Director of Operations at Studio Hillier. This particular sukkah, near the Princeton Arts Council, is twinned with community partners Princeton Housing Authority / Princeton Community Housing. The sukkah are visible until September 29.
By Wendy Greenberg
The sukkah that dot the Princeton landscape this week are more than the innovative and creative architectural designs they appear to be. They are part of Sukkah Village Princeton 2021, an interfaith program with local partners developed to bring attention to the formidable social issues facing New Jersey and the world today.
The program and event were developed by Joshua Zinder, president of AIA New Jersey and managing partner of Princeton integrated architecture and design firm JZA + D, which was inspired by a competition similar to New York. He challenged architects in the region to show how design can highlight today’s social crises. Eight local architects and two student design teams participate and are linked with nonprofit partners to highlight charitable work.
Sukkahs are hut-like shelters with specific guidelines, which define the fall festival of Sukkot and represent the dwellings of ancient Jews. The 11 that were born in the village of Sukkah are open to the public until September 29 (except for a day of religious celebration on September 24) and are dismantled on September 30. Sunday, September 26 is Family Day, with Sukkah Hop scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and programs at the Princeton Jewish Center from noon to 3 p.m.
Several round tables are planned, including a round table on sustainable development on Thursday, September 23 at 7 p.m. a panel on hunger and food insecurity on Friday September 24 at noon; and a conference on refugees on Sunday, September 26 at 7 p.m. Registration information can be found on sukkahvillage.com and on the Sukkah Village Princeton 2021 Facebook page.
The locations, themes, architects and community partners of the sukkah are:
Princeton Jewish Center, 435 Nassau Street: “Exodus Evolution”, HDR Inc., Sustainable Princeton; Nested Sukkah, ZA&D, Jewish Family and Children’s Services; Sukkah Drash, Michael Landau Architecture, Centraide of GMC; Tree as Shelter, Seth A. Leeb Architect, Princeton Senior Resource Center; Celestial Tensility and A Windowed Sukkah, each by design students from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Arm In Arm, and the TJC Interfaith Refugee Resettlement Committee.
Palmer Square at Hulfish Street: “Illuminated Origami â, JZA & D, HomeFront.
Presbyterian Church of Nassau, 61 Nassau Street: “palettHIVE â, Mills & Schnoering Architects, Trenton area soup kitchen.
Church of the Trinity, 33 Mercer Street: “Communal convergence â, KSS Architects, Send Hunger Packing.
YWCA Princeton, 59 Place Paul Robeson: âTraversing Planesâ, Michael Graves Architecture and Design, Rescue Mission.
Princeton Arts Council, 102 Witherspoon Street: âRising from Ashes,â Studio Hillier, Princeton Housing Authority / Princeton Community Housing.
The sukkahs are auctioned with the proceeds from aid to partner nonprofit agencies. As Zinder said in a September 8 Town Topics article, the Sukkot feast is about âthe fragility of shelters. We can have roofs over our heads, but we have to think about those who don’t.
Using design to convey this message defines Sukkah Village Princeton 2021.