Westchester Reform Temple and School

Westchester Reform Temple and School

Our nine-year relationship with the Westchester Reform Temple began as we worked together on a broad master plan to update, improve and expand their existing site and facilities. The completed project includes extensive reorganization of the site circulation and landscaping to create a cohesive campus.

AIANY Design Awards, Merit Award for Projects | Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award | Chicago Athenaeum, Green Good Design for Architecture | Faith & Form Design Award | World Architecture News, Glass in Architecture Award. Full list of awards
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Our planning goal was to assess the capacity of all existing elements and envision an integrated campus for learning and worship that not only improved and expanded the current operations, but anticipated the needs of the next generation of congregants. Our studies of schedule, program, traffic, mission and liturgy engaged the broadest constituencies of the Temple for six months.

A phased construction schedule would accommodate the Temple’s desire to continue to occupy their buildings during the construction with minimal disruption of education and services.

The 12,000-sf sanctuary and 14,000-sf religious school and study center establish a west to east axis of increasing privacy and spirituality: from campus and world to community and social hall, to sanctuary and worship, to a spiritual garden and contemplation.

The Temple needed a new sanctuary to seat 400 worshippers for weekly services that could also expand to hold 1,250 worshippers for the High Holy Days. The concept for the sanctuary is based on Tikkun Olam – ‘repairing the world.’ Seven cedar and plaster bands of varying dimensions are broken by daylight: representing our world’s finished and unfinished efforts.

The design for the new sanctuary employs economic building materials and natural light to create a worship space that is at once grand and intimate.  A visual connection to an exterior garden to the east, behind the Bimah, is a thematic component of the plan. Landscape and the development of pedestrian connections are used to enhance the spirit of place and unify the diverse buildings on the campus. Spaces were reorganized to improve functionality, security, safety and accessibility. 

The project is certified LEED Silver.