A pillar of Sydney’s Jewish community, Bondi’s Central Synagogue underwent a modern transformation after being destroyed by a fire in 1994. After winning a competition to breathe new life into this house of worship, Jackson Teece took on the challenge of crafting a visually poetic structure that is accented with subdued, yet significant religious and geographic tributes throughout.
This project required extensive community and council liaison. The ongoing collaboration with the local Jewish community opened up new and exciting design ideas that drew on thousands of years of symbolism, yet felt completely at home amongst the contrast of sunny Bondi.
Our architectural designs included the 2000 seat Shule (the main place of worship), a small hall for 450 people, an administration centre, and a youth centre alongside other community associated facilities. The design also accounted for enhanced acoustic clarity. This resulted in no need for amplification, which is a vital part of religious observance, and a small yet significant reminder that while our designs may look to the future, they can be crafted without compromising the past.
A grand, light filled space that has made its presence felt amongst its surrounding residential landscape, Central Synagogue observes important religious requirements, yet never overwhelms. It sits comfortably in place and has embraced the complex constraints posed by its urban context.