The Sukkah has been around since ancient biblical times during The Israelite’s exodus from Egypt , but to see them being reintroduced in our high-tech, vertical, bustling urban hardscapes is just plain unusual. We all know that New York City has been pushing the limits (since ancient biblical times-they would tell you); painting streets green and purple to add additional walking and biking lanes, adding new language like “sharrows“, and now Sukkahs.
Over the next few months, Reboot and The Union Square Partnership will be organizing “Sukkah City“, an urban design competition for new forms of temporary architecture. 12 finalists will be chosen by a jury and will be constructed in Union Square Park early in the fall. The research, development and processes will be published in the forthcoming book, “Sukkah City: Radically Temporary Architecture for the Next Three Thousand Years.”
Many of our architect friends with some spare time on their hands may not think this is really that challenging, however consider some of the rules and they may be rethinking more than just the way we design things. Things get a bit ridiculous with rules like: “A whale may be used to make a sukkah’s walls. Also a living elephant,” “A sukkah may be built on top of a camel,” “The sukkah must enclose a minimum area of at least 7 x 7 square handbreadths,” and “In day, the roof must provide more shade than sunshine. Its individual construction elements must be less than 4 handbreadths in width.”