Temple Emanu-El


The client, along with the architect, New York City firm Beyer Blinder Belle, had determined that the visual focus of the space needed to remain on the Bimah—the podium area at the front of the synagogue from where the Torahs are read—and the Ark—the enclosed niche which houses the Torahs.

The battens are fitted with 750W theatrical PAR downlights, and can be lowered to within four feet of the Bimah floor for maintenance. Above the Bimah and Ark is the choir area. Here the designers created a fadeout effect to highlight the choir's blue ceiling.

The challenge for New York-based lighting firm Sachs Morgan Studio, noted for their theatrical lighting work, was to celebrate the architecturally significant features of the building, originally designed in 1927. This included an ornate polychrome Lombardian ceiling with Gustavino tiles, and stained glass windows.

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