Temple Emanu-El

Temple Emanu-el project is located at one of the most active areas of in the Dallas Metropolitan area. As one of the first Reform Jewish congregation in North Texas and the largest synagogue in the South, the Temple Emanu-el has had a significant historical, cultural and social presence in the community. In 1957 the temple moved to its present location in north Dallas. The noted Architects Howard R. Meyer and Max M. Sandfield, with noted California architect William Wurster as consultant, received an Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects for the design of the present structure.

Cunningham Architects was brought in to do a renovation of the existing structure in early 2012. As main component to this renovation, a second floor is being added to the education wing and will necessitate a new elevation presence on Hillcrest Avenue. TOPOCAST was brought in as a design and parametric consultant to help produce a pre-cast concrete brise soleil. The 14 panels comprising the brise soleil are to run 185’ and reach approximately 25’ high. Working with Gate Precast in Hillsboro, TX. Cunningham Architects and TOPOCAST have established design and fabrication parameters for the production, transportation, and installation of the brise soleil.

The design works with a limited set of modules and examines how through a the use of urethane master molds a series of panels could be constructed that were both economical and appearing to coordinate a desired aesthetic outcome. Several of the early stage explorations are shown below with the last board showing the final outcome and configuration using 4 modules. The digital model is controlled parametrically and can be calibrated to allow more or less transparency through the screen. This can also be controlled in terms of location which allows for coordination with views from the first and second floor stories of the classrooms. The bottom image shows a full-scale mock-up of the four modules. The project is still in the production phase.

Project Team: Brad Bell, Jacob Narvaez, Amy Jarvis, Craig Gillam.