MAYER HASBANI - OR Damesek Synagogue: spaces that look to the sky seeking to reach divinity
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OR Damesek Synagogue: spaces that look to the sky seeking to reach divinity


Public Space  /  Future
The OR Damesek, located in Mexico City, is an enclosure focused on religious preparation and formation, as well as a place of worship of Judaism, located in a rectangular lot of land 16.5 meters long by 35 meters wide and in the middle of one of the most emblematic colonies of the City. The program of this building is developed in 4 levels and a basement, turning internally the nave of the building towards the east following the tradition of Jewish prayer directed towards this direction.

The concept of the enclosure is composed by the interaction of two bodies, one given by the rectangular shape of the land and another body that incorporates the main program of the building designed with a rotation angle towards the east; this is how a bay is created that marks the access to the building; to the public and private spaces and their circulation. A tucked glass façade defines the pedestrian entrance to the study center by providing natural light to the building's lobby; this light entry is modeled once it enters the campus through geometrically shaped ceilings that give different sensations in the building's spaces in a set of volumes that are suspended to house different program areas; all study center spaces are naturally illuminated with vertical light entrances.

A multipurpose hall is located on the first floor of the building, with a capacity for 140 people, equipped with service and sanitary spaces; this space can be divided according to the reason and capacity of the event to be held and is connected to an exterior patio finished off by high blind walls giving the sensation of outdoor privacy. On the second level is the main temple with a capacity for 130 parishioners; the vestibule is aligned with the entrance to the temple and the ark where the Torah scrolls are kept. This space is defined as a private and exalted place, crowned by a dome on top of the glass building, which lets natural light pass through, illuminating the space and caressing the partition walls, highlighting their texture and materiality. It also has a space for ritual hand washing, a long bookcase on one side of the temple and another support space for storing books in the vestibule. On a third level is the entrance to the women's prayer area, this space is part of the main temple and is projected inside it as a mezzanine. It is also supported with study areas and restrooms. On a fourth level is a smaller temple with a capacity for 65 users supported by a library, study area and cafeteria, illuminated from above by a dome on the ceiling. The study center has a parking lot with capacity for 20 vehicles and service areas located in the basement.

This building promotes a warm atmosphere in the nature of its materials, that is why the apparent partition has been chosen as the main material of the project for its nobility and humility, predominating in public spaces and facade towards the street, where the position in which the partition is arranged creates a unique skin for each space where it is applied; it is also combined in some spaces with marble in walls and floors. The internal walls of the main temple are lined with textured partition walls, fulfilling aesthetic functions and absorbing the noise generated by prayer. The rear or west facade is made of transparent glass supported by stone mullions in vertical format for solar control.

The staircase that leads to the main temple located on the first level acquires prominence by finishing with a stone wall bathed by zenithal light and is separated from the rest of the continuous stairs that connect us from the first level to the following ones.

The OR Damesek is presented to the city as a discreet and silent building where its architectural expression reaches the splendor in the dance that sunlight has with its walls inside; a succession of spaces that always look to the sky seeking to reach divinity.


 Mexico City
 600 mq
 Mayer Hasbani
 Alma Montiel, Nelly Hernández & Alejandra Ramírez.
 Milk Life Investments
 Structure: Izquierdo Ingenieros y Asociados; MEP: BIMSTUDIO; Topography: Grupo TARC; Lighting Design: Lighteam; Landscape: DLC; Acoustics: Saad Acústica.


MAYER HASBANI was established in the year 2000 in Mexico City, with the mission of becoming the Mexican architecture office with the highest level of expertise in the market. 20 years and a range of over 40 architectural works after, meets its objectives facing a thriving, developed city with huge ambitions. Today the architecture office is an international design firm adopting all the needs and particularities of the global and competitive market in its projects to create truly contemporary work design for today that keeps tomorrow in mind. We reinvent the architectural practice through a joint working model: analysis, design, creativity and above all, the knowledge and experience of all members of the firm.
Through the most sophisticated international systems for design processes, we meet the standards of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the methodology of the project management institute (PMI) and uses specialized tools provide by the Building Information Model.

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