Sukkah City News

Sukkah of the Signs under construction in Gowanus, Brooklyn

“The most moving may be the sukkah comprised of signs that its designers (Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello of Oakland, Calif.) bought from homeless people. The result will be a meditation on how little separates the world’s housed and housed-nots.”The New York Times

“The sukkah made of homeless signs is a strong concept, and it relates to the idea that a sukkah should be a structure “where the lord of the manor becomes closer to the man who sleeps on the park bench.” The architects–Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello–come from the Bay Area, where there is, unfortunately, an enormous homeless population. Part of the beauty of their design is that it directly transfers their prize money to those most in need. I can’t think of anything more befitting the themes of the sukkah. All of our structures will ultimately be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to support Housing Works, a charity that provides services and housing to the homeless population in New York City.”Archinect.com

Interior view of sukkah

“Of the three entries we’ve actually seen, Rael San Fratello’s is probably the most interesting. Yet it is Sukkah of Signs that is most audacious in its scope and, we imagine, shape, as it tackles. Rael and San Fratello have gone about collecting signs from homeless people in the Bay Area and, with the help of volunteers, from across the country, in what they’re calling “The Homeless House Project.” Somehow, they’re going to repurpose these into a sukkah, a challenge we can’t wait to see in action. Best of all, as Foer points out, “It’s really great because they’re basically transferring their award money to the homeless population,” as each sign is gotten in exchange for a donation.”Architects Newspaper

“Unlike more practical or whimsical instances of pop-up construction, the sukkah functions as concrete, if multivalent, symbol. It can be an expression of empathy with the homeless, which is why Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello fashioned a hut from hundreds of cardboard signs bought from the indigent. It can also become a semi-sanctum, an outpost of antiquity in the hectic present.”New York Magazine

“Last night the open expanse of the Gowanus Studio Space was stuffed with sukkahs, and curious folks wound their way between the reeds and poles, climbing inside to get the interior view. The creations were in various states of construction, ranging from the neat and nearly complete “Sukkah of the Signs” by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello out of Oakland, California to…”ny.curbed.com

See also: [ Architizer.com | Treehugger.com | The Jewish Chronicle ]

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