Author Archives: Warwick Mihaly


Hi all,

Assessment of your projects will be based on your final examination, scheduled for Thursday the 7th of November. Consideration will also be given to your performance during the semester. Assessment criteria are as follows:

  1. Research. What is the quality and depth of design-based research, and how well has it informed the final design?
  2. Studio agenda. How successfully does the project establish a radical proposal for the next 100 years of Temple Beth Israel? Does it balance this transformative agenda with the values of the synagogue’s history?
  3. Site and urbanism. How well does the project relate to its urban context? How successful are the project’s siting strategy and engagement with the street?
  4. Brief and programme. How well does the project integrate the core brief and extended programme? Are the two programmes well-integrated and do they each enrich the other?
  5. Identity. Does the project protect the unique identities and spatial qualities of the synagogue and extended programme?
  6. Space and form. How successful are the project’s spatial and formal resolution?
  7. Structure, construction and environment. Is the project structurally resolved? Does it demonstrate sensitivity to the craft of construction? Is it suited to its climate? Does it embody good passive design principles?
  8. Ideas. Can the key ideas of the project be understood in the final design?
  9. Communication. How successfully do the final drawings, models and oral presentation communicate the design intent of the project?

All criteria are evenly weighted, with the exception of #2 Studio agenda, which will have double weighting.

Note that the A5 booklet is a subject-wide hurdle requirement and should contain a progressive account of your activities during semester, including your design esquisse works, Sukkah mini-project, research and design work. It is essentially a design diary that tracks your progress from start to finish. It will not form part of your assessment.


20130917-simchat torah

Hi all,

Some more precise requirements for sanctuary configurations are as follows:

  • Regular Shabbat Friday evening and Saturday morning services = 80 – 120 people. Adjacent kiddush space required for same number of people
  • Typical Bar- or Bat-mitzvah Saturday morning service = 220 – 250 people. Adjacent kiddush space required for same number of people
  • Large Bar- or Bat-mitzvah Saturday morning service = 320 – 350 people. Adjacent kiddush space required for same number of people
  • High holy days (around September), which includes the festivals of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) = 1,000 – 1,200 people in main sanctuary + up to 300 people in secondary sanctuary. You might mount an argument to split the larger space into 2x smaller sanctuaries, but it has to be convincing. Adjacent kiddush space would be good for Rosh Hashanah though not essential. No kiddush space required for Yom Kippur

There are some other special requirements surrounding festivals:

  • Simchat Torah (coming up soon) involves a torah being unrolled to its full length in the middle of the sanctuary, which might be around 50m. People stand in a circle holding onto it, then it is rolled back to the beginning and everyone has a bit of a dance together
  • Sukkot (coming up tomorrow) as you know involves building the sukkah in a courtyard, but also requires adjacent multifunctional space for family activities

I hope this clears some things up for you all.



Hi all,

As you’ll hopefully discover in your email inboxes, I’ve created a shared Dropbox folder containing the existing conditions drawings for Temple Beth Israel. Also in there is an empty folder entitled synagogue research for you to fill.

Can someone please volunteer for two important tasks:

  1. Track down a title for Temple Beth Israel, located 76 – 82 Alma Road, St. Kilda VIC 3182. Let me know if there’s any problems with doing this, as I can always buy one if necessary
  2. Use the existing conditions drawings to draw up a site plan for the sukkah mini-project


20130807-lulav and etrogThe lulav and etrog, the former comprising leaves of the date palm, myrtle and willow

Hi all,

In this assignment, you will design a sukkah for the existing internal courtyard at Temple Beth Israel. You are to explore the themes developed in your esquisse models in this project, employing their ideas, gestures and forms to create a sukkah that:

  • Is a spiritual place
  • Is a space for Jews to congregate
  • Is a celebration of the harvest
  • Is temporary
  • Can accommodate 100 people standing
  • Can accommodate 20 people sitting for a meal

As Rabbi Lazarow explained, the stained glass windows commissioned for the sanctuary space are the result of collaboration between a Jewish scholar and non-Jewish artist. You are encouraged to consider the Jewish ideals that underpin the festival of Sukkot from your own non-Jewish paradigms. Key among these ideals (though not alone) is the importance of social justice.

In addition to the above, the sukkah is to adhere to following religious laws:

  • It must be large enough to fit a person’s head, most of his / or body and a table. This translates to minimum dimensions of 700 x 700 x 1000mm (l x w x h)
  • Its maximum height is 10m, however there is no maximum length or width
  • The sukkah must not resemble a permanent one
  • The structure of the sukkah is to preferably be made of timber and must not be made of steel or other metals
  • The sukkah may be built on a boat or wagon
  • The materials of the sukkah may be borrowed but not stolen
  • The walls may be made of any material, but must be sturdy enough to withstand an ordinary wind without moving or flapping
  • The walls do not need to reach the roof, nor touch the ground, however they must be no more than 240mm above the ground and no less than 1000mm high
  • The sukkah need not be enclosed but must have at least 3 complete walls
  • The roof, or s’chach, must be made from materials that once grew in the ground, but have since been detached and are ritually pure. Impurity is transmitted via contact with a dead body, some dead animals including most insects and lizards, certain bodily fluids, birth and leprosy
  • The roof cannot be made of utensils, or any other material that is conventionally functional
  • The roof materials cannot be connected together using string, webbing or other mesh
  • The roof must be sufficiently closed so as to provide more shade than sun, but sufficiently open that rain can enter. These requirements dictate that the sukkah must be exposed to both directly sunlight and rain
  • The stars must be visible from inside the sukkah on a clear night
  • The roofing material need not reach the walls, but must come within 240mm of them
  • If planks of timber are to be used for the roof, they must be no wider than 50mm
  • The sukkah should provide opportunities for decoration
  • Disposal of the sukkah materials is discouraged. Reusing them for other purposes or recycling them is preferable

You are each to produce sketches of your sukkah proposal together with a 1:20 scale model. There is no restriction on drawings or images to be provided, nor model materials to be used.

This assignment officially commences this coming Friday the 9th of August and is due Monday the 19th of August. Time will be set aside during the interim studio sessions to discuss your progress. You are to work on this mini-project alongside the design research phase of the main synagogue design project.



20130806-soho syngague

Hi all,

A synagogue traditionally serves three functions:

  • A place of worship
  • A place of learning
  • A place of assembly

The core brief for this studio is divided into these functions, together with an additional two – administration and amenities – as follows:

  • Worship
  • 1x large flexible prayer space to accommodate 100 – 1,200 people
  • 1x medium flexible prayer space to accommodate 50 – 200 people
  • 1x small flexible prayer space to accommodate 20 – 80 people
  • 1x bimah and securable ark to each prayer space, to accommodate a total of 12 torahs
  • 1x kiddush space, 15 x 30m
  • 1x outdoor courtyard, 12 x 20m
  • Learning
  • 4x class rooms, each to accommodate up to 40 people
  • 4x class rooms, each to accommodate up to 20 people
  • 1x multimedia room to accommodate up to 60 people
  • Assembly
  • 2x flexible multifunction rooms, each 15 x 30m
  • 4x hot desk offices, each 4 x 5m
  • 1x outdoor courtyard, 15 x 30m
  • Administration
  • 1x reception and waiting area, 6 x 8m
  • 8x offices, each 4 x 5m
  • 1x open work area, 8 x 12m
  • 1x boardroom to accommodate up to 20 people
  • 1x kitchenette, 2 x 3m
  • 1x strong room, 3 x 4m
  • 1x archive area, 10 x 20m
  • Amenities
  • 6x male toilets, incorporating a combination of pans and urinals
  • 6x female toilets
  • 2x disabled toilets
  • 1x cloakroom
  • 1x commercial kitchen, 8 x 15m
  • 1x refrigerated cool room, 2 x 3m
  • 20x car parking spaces, including 2x disabled spaces

In addition to these specific rooms, projects are to incorporate ancillary rooms, including:

  • Entry courtyards
  • Indoor entry areas
  • Overflow areas to prayer spaces
  • Elevator and stair access to all levels
  • Storage for furniture, archive material, teaching collateral, festival equipment etc.
  • Bin storage
  • General circulation
  • Miscellaneous outdoor areas

Students are encouraged to combine requirements of this core brief where possible and consider additional functions not listed here.


20130731-dali clocks

Hi all,

Key dates for the semester are as follows:

Friday 26th July: Studio ballot

Monday 29th July: Semester begins
Monday 29th July: No studio today

Tuesday 30th July, 5.15 – 7.15pm: Studio introduction at Great Northern Hotel

Friday 2nd August: Studio sessions begin

Monday 5th August, 2.45pm – 5pm: Tour of Temple Beth Israel synagogue
Monday 5th August: Short studio following tour back at University of Melbourne

Friday 9th August, 4 – 5.30pm: Esquisse models presentation at Temple Beth Israel
Friday 9th August, 6.15 – 7.30pm: Shabbat evening service at Temple Beth Israel

Friday 6th September, time TBC: Mid-semester critiques

Friday 4th October, time TBC: Interim-semester critiques

Friday 25th October: Digital submission

Thursday 7th November, 9am – 6pm: End-of-semester examinations at Temple Beth Israel



Hi all,

So you can get in contact with each other for the research assignment, your preferred email addresses are:

Luke Bonham:

Shallyn Chan:

Katherine Christie:

Alejandra Cordova:

Nicole Doedens:

Charlotte Guy:

Alex Ho:

Gwendoline Lee:

Keely Malady:

Audrey Whisker: