Sukkahville Design Competition

Submission: June 19, 2015
Registration May 15, 2015
Language: English
LocationToronto, Canada
Prizes: n/a
Type: Open


Kehilla Residential Programme invites architects, students, artists, builders and design professionals (individuals or teams) to submit design proposals for the fifth annual Sukkahville Design Competition.

This open design competition asks entrants to design and build a contemporary interpretation of the temporary, free standing Sukkah on Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto’s City Hall to commemorate the holiday of Sukkot.

In keeping with the mission of Kehilla Residential Programme, the Sukkahville design competition is an opportunity to produce innovative design ideas in the context of affordable housing in our cities. Held prior to the Jewish festival of Sukkot on Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto’s City Hall, Sukkahville helps raise funds and public awareness for its Rental Assistance Program. Through this interactive design-build exhibition Sukkahville transforms a public space into a laboratory for architectural experimentation.

Sukkah is a temporary structure constructed for annual use during the week long Jewish festival of Sukkot. The original source for this tradition is Leviticus 23:42-43, where it is described as a reminder of the booths that the children of Israel dwelt in after God brought them out of their slavery in Egypt. Many later interpreters have understood theSukkah as symbolizing the frailty and transience of life and shelter.

While building a Sukkah is a particular Jewish ritual observance, it represents many conceptual themes surrounding the essential nature of dwelling, which are universal in nature. Proposing an innovative Sukkah design which delicately balances the inherent dichotomies of new/old, open/closed, temporary/permanent is the challenge inherent in this competition. In other words, what should a contemporary Sukkah look like—while maintaining a diverse and rooted meaning of space and place.