2000 Honor Award. Professional Design Awards, American Society of Landscape Architects "Beth Israel Memorial Garden";
1999 Design Award, Metal Architecture Awards, "Beth Israel Funeral Chapel" (with Daniel Solomon);
1998 Religious Architecture Award, American Institute of Architects, "Beth Israel Chapel and Memorial Garden" (with Daniel Solomon);
1998 Merit Award, California Chapter, American Institute of Architects, "Beth Israel Chapel and Memorial Garden" (with Daniel Solomon).
The project, dedicated in April, 1997 consists of a 3 acre (1.2 ha) cemetery, a ~ 11 ~ ft (700 sq m) open chapel, entry forecourt, 19 mausolea buildings, a 600' (181 ~ arbor/walkway, a 10' x 50' (3 m x 15 m) pool with seasonal and mechanical fo-^rWL a memorial wall, landscaping and 9 on-site parking spaces. The project was a- fo-a collaboration designed and executed by Gary Strang Architect and Landscape with Daniel Solomon Architect. The chapel, constructed of custom poured ar::recast concrete, CMU blocks, stainless steel, steel, perforated anodized a -. ^ and Honduran Mahogany is designed to accentuate one's awareness of re of nature. A sliver of light moves visibly against the thick concrete wall; the is cooled by breezes which are allowed to penetrate the chapel and the cav t thick double insulated roof; and the 50 -100" (127 - 254 cm) of rain which fa s : -roof each year is captured in a huge elevated concrete gutter that doubles as ar e portico. The water is then released into a seasonal pool that forms the backcic the funeral service. The pool overflows into drainage lines that double as wa • and form the geometric structure of the site. The problem of drainage and in Houston is seen as an opportunity to organize the site while allowing to experience a heightened awareness of the cycles of nature and the qua ~ - i materials.
Site plan shows the three acre Beth Israel Chapel and Cemetery with 19 mausolea buildings.
Detail plan of chapel, parking court, and pedestrian forecourt.
Mausolea & Foundations for future Mausolea - Of the 19 Mausolea buildings planned, 5 have been built and foundations have been poured for 5 others. Pictured also are existing oaks, family parking lot and chapel roof beyond.
«— Open Chapel & Seasonal Fountain seen across Burial Ground, Pool, Existing Oaks, New Ilex vomitoria. Bubblers and Skylight - Concrete gutter captures water from the roof to make a seasonal fountain, and the skylight casts a narrow beam of light on the concrete wall and marks the location of the casket during services. New plantings constitute an understory beneath the existing oaks.
,/ View from inside of Chapel looking out to West - The chapel is completely open to the burial ground.
./i/ First point of arrival at Chapel - There is an intentional ambiguity between inside and out such that it is impossible to tell where the landscape ends and the building begins. Pictured is the concrete rain gutter above, and the curving perforated metal screens, some of which are transparent and some of which make an acoustic barrier to high frequency noise.
% -its.z, Detail - The steel poles and River Birch trees follow the curve of the interior cemetery lane.
r -3, - Main entry to the site for people attending services - The arbor walk parallels the interior cemetery lane where :::urs. provides shade from the oppressive heat and directs people to the chapel. It establishes a permeable r re edge of the Jewish cemetery. River Birch trees are bent into an arc and cabled to painted 3" (7 62 cm) steel to the ground with stainless steel bases.
fountains - Simple bronze channels help mask road noise inside the pavilion and drip water into the 9" (22.8 cm) :: .fse which connects with the main pool outside the roofed area.
• sen chapel for arriving guests - River Birch walkway and steel poles frame view across lawn to pool, Ilex : -: simple mahogany benches in open air chapel.
Congregation Beth ferae location Houston Texas other key consultants
Collaborating Architect Sotomon Architecture 8 Urban Design;
Owners Representative .Joyce Chesnick,
Congregation Beth Israel;
Contractor: Torn Bellows/Jack Roberts/Jimmy
Gibson. W.S. Bellows Construction,
Color Jarnes Goodman photography
Gary L Strang
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