Home > architecture, school > spiritual space..synagogue… color evokes respons…

spiritual space..synagogue… color evokes respons…

spiritual space..synagogue…
color evokes responses of spirituality and emotion that verge on primal. looking at beautiful multi-colored tallis’, or the rainbowed light filtered through a stain-glass window can get me lost in a plane of transcendence. color can sometimes be enough to provoke tears.

color can be intricate to spirituality, but should it be the focus of a spiritual space? should light? light seems to be the vogue of spritual space nowadays, and for good reason. but it seems that the types of spaces created by light and shadow are more solitary; and if they are inhabited by many people, the individual response is not communal. color and light are things to marvel at – the way the light casts shadows, the way it falls off in intensity, the way it picks up texture, the way it moves through the day. light is ever-changing and will constantly steal attention.

a synagogue, though, is a space of communal prayer. jewish services promote socialization, glances and gestures between congregants, focus on the cantor and bimah and ark and rabbi. the service is solitary in its recitation, as all congregants chant at their own pace and in their own tone – the culmination of this multitude gushes intensity. a series of cars revving their engines before a race. while the prayer is meditative and inwardly focused, the result is outwardly focused as the congregation becomes the sum of its parts. a perfect harmony is never sought; the purpose is to keep attention within and amongst the congregants – the community is what elevates the spirituality.

if the architecture is too incredible, it draws attention away from the service and detracts from the purpose of prayer. if any one object that is not the ark or bimah is given focus, then attention is drawn towards analysis and mesmerization and not prayer. the building design should be beautiful enough to elicit remarks, but not so incredible as to divert attention during the service.

should light and color be minimized?

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Categories: architecture, school
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