PKSB Architects

Temple B'Nai Chaim


Temple B'Nai Chaim | GEORGETOWN, CT

The existing building, constructed in the 1960’s by a then small Jewish community, was designed to resemble a residence. This incongruous typology had been selected by the founders incase the burgeoning Synagogue failed and they were forced to sell the building. Nearly fifty years later, the now thriving congregation turned to PKSB for solutions on how to expand their inadequately sized facility. 

Due to financial constraints, PKSB developed a design solution that was both economical and completely transformative. The bulk of the building is conceived of as a generic, pre-engineered box. It is connected to the existing building by a one-story loggia. This sprawling frontispiece obscures the simple box and the existing building and provides a blank slate for architectural expression. Smaller program pieces are composed along the single story façade, each expressed with distinctive materials. The stone and wood-clad volumes anchor the building contextually. The design of the Sanctuary draws on the inherent beauty of the site. Generous openings in the double height walls provide tranquil views to the woodlands beyond.

This economically strategic design is both quiet and dignified to reflect the culture of the congregation.