Derived from the unit of the hand and constructed by modest means, the sukkah is the archetype of ephemeral architecture. Our decision to employ rope as the primary building material was based on the provisional nature of its application and how it has come to be identified with temporality, transition and nomadic cultures. The design utilizes the knot as its central construction method. Inherent in this rudimentary technique is this sense of impermanence as well as the performance of the hand. Similar to string figures such as a Cat’s Craddle, the knot provides a visible chronological record of its fabrication, encoding the series of physical manipulations that the material undergoes during construction.
The design consists of three components; concrete pavers at the base, bent steel poles along the perimeter and polygonal laminated sheets of leaves at the roof. Weaving between the pavers and wrapping around the poles, the rope binds all of the constituent elements together. Lengths of rope spanning between each pole form the walls of the sukkah. The connections are determined by the need for stability and the allocation of seating along the parallel perimeter walls which are distilled to a network of lines converging and dispersing to allow for shelter, privacy and congregation. The roof of the sukkah is a simple tensegrity structure in which the sheets are suspended in between the composite strands of the rope, splaying the fibers apart and helping to augment the overarching feeling of dematerialization and ethereality imparted by the enclosure.