The Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center in Tel Aviv, Israel designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, is not like any other synagogue. It may be partly due to the fact that Botta always believed architecture involves building the context and it is not an isolated object but an entity which, by its nature, takes root in a place that is always unique. The highlight of this Tel Aviv synagogue is the two matching towers both square in plan and merging to circles at their highest points of 13.5 m. Why did Mario Botta designed two towers for this synagogue? Are they designed just for decoration? Do you know?
1943 born Mario Botta is known for designing places of worship. According to him, the sacred directly lives in the collective. He believes the man becomes a participant in a church, even if he never says anything. The Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center was the twelfth and culminating project in a series of religious works by Mario Botta. Mario Botta had designed the building for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art a few years before and then the Évry Cathedral, with a similar cylindrical shape.
The Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center were designed to bridge the religious and secular segments of Israeli society in an academic setting.
At Cymbalista Synagogue a rectangular base greets visitors from where two matching towers rise above to a height of 13.5 meters. In each tower at the circular top is installed a square “canopy” which drapes natural light onto the walls of the hybrid cylinder and rectangle volume. Thus, twin towers not only add to the looks of the structure but also catch and release natural light inside of the space. Further, these installations resemble the traditional Jewish wedding canopy, called the chuppah, which are permanent and poetically cast in light. The Torah Ark is partially lit by translucent onyx.
The building contains the highest quality materials and furnishings from around the world, including the Torah ark of Pakistani onyx stone, the golden-hued stone interior walls from Tuscany, the black granite floor from Zimbabwe, the reddish exterior stone from the Italian Dolomites and the light wood ceiling from Switzerland.