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Photo by Willem Rethmeier


Guided tour: Emanuel Synagogue with architect Ed Lippmann

The colourful and lightweight sanctuary, designed by architect Ed Lippmann, is a building of our time and one designed for sustainability: environmental, social and financial.

The Emanuel Synagogue is a progressive religious community that embraces pluralism, social and religious reform. With a congregation of 3,500 members, it is the fastest growing Jewish congregation in the southern hemisphere. In order to accommodate a growing congregation and differing styles of religious services, a third sanctuary for up to 700 congregants was recently completed on their Woollahra site.

The new sanctuary, designed by architect Ed Lippmann, is an exuberant example of contemporary architecture reflecting the values of its congregation. It is of its time and place, concerned with environmental and social sustainability. The first thing a visitor experiences is the transparency of the sanctuary, its continuity with the older buildings on the site whilst establishing a dialogue with them. Filtered coloured light illuminates the interior and the expression of building structure, materiality and colour is a visual delight.

The new religious sanctuary was conceived as a resilient cultural centre capable of maximum flexibility. It is equipped for adaptation from religious services to concerts, performances, films and functions and, importantly, is open to the wider public community not just the Emanuel congregation. A pre-School at the lower level provides learning space and outdoor recreation for 60 children.

The integration of artwork, materials and structure, imbue the building with its inherently religious quality. According to Lippmann “The spirituality of space is embedded in the building’s DNA”.

Tour guide: Ed Lippmann
Date: Saturday 29th September
Time: 12:30 (first tour) and 13:30 (second tour)
Duration: 40 min (per tour)
Capacity: 30 people (per tour)
Fee: $20 (Pay on the day. Will be donated to the Synagogue)

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