TEAM: Deane Madsen
ADVISOR: Greg Crawford (CMg Design, AIA)
BRIEF: Make a new (portable) home for a set of Torah scrolls
During my summer internship at CMg Design, one of the more interesting projects I got to work on was the design of an Aron Kodesh, which is a closet or chest that houses the Torah scrolls used in the public worship of a synagogue. Although these Arks, as they are colloquially known, are generally the most important and more ornate parts of a synagogue, our client preferred to have an Ark that would evoke more humility than grandeur.
After going through several scale study models, we collaborated with a cabinet maker to fabricate this unique Ark. We used a dark, rough-sawn Douglas Fir, which was wire-brushed on the outside, and planed smooth on the interior. For the top portion of the Ark, we used white acrylic, so that the interior receives a diffuse ambient light from its surroundings. We also fabricated a stand for the Torah scrolls from clear acrylic, so that focus can be on the scrolls themselves while the stand disappears. We included removable legs, so that the whole Ark could fit in the back of the Rabbi's Prius.