Sukkah 2000 / 5760
Sukkah designs by prominent architects


Stuart Cohen and Julie Hacker

BIOGRAPHY: Stuart Cohen, FAIA received Bachelor and Masters degrees in Architecture from Cornell University. He was selected as a Fellow of the AIA in 1985. Julie Hacker, AIA, received a Bachelors degree from Wesleyan University and her MA in Architecture from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She was the recipient of the Chicago Women in Architecture Award. Among their most prominent projects are "Country Living Magazine's" Fifteenth Anniversary House, built in Lake Bluff, Illinois in 1993; and Residential projects in the Chicago area


[cohen and hacker]

STATEMENT: The booth us assembled from a series of demountable storable components. These are a cross between a folding ladder and a folding chair. The ladder elements with their rungs, form both wall panels and the roof panels. These provide an armature to which the ritual elements are added. To provide shelter from the sub, the arbor-like rood should be overlayed with tree branches of the prescribed species. These may not be fastened to it. The rungs of the walls allow for hanging and fastening all manners of objects related to the holiday of Sukkot from fruits to vegetables, to weavings, rugs or wall hangings. Since the roof of the booth must be made entirely of material that grows in the earth and must be free of ritual impurities, it was decided to make the booth entirely of wood. There are no metal fasteners. Toweled wood hinges are used for all the folding parts. By making a ladder-backed or slat-backed chair and a roof that is like the chair back, the enclosure created becomes arbor or trellis-lie. When the chairs are ganged together on the long side, they form a bench on which the participant can sleep as well as sit to take meals.

The design evolved from the versatility of "the ladder": a means of sacred ascent, a means to climb down towards earth, a means to harvest the fruit of trees, a means to hang things on. By making a ladder-backed chair with a roof which is like a ladder trellis, and ganging them together, a space is defined. This is like the space made when we pull up tall chairs around a table or in a circle. By making each ladder/chair/enclosure demoutable, the sukkah breaks down into its original components, ladders to be stored for future celebrations.
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