RAEL SAN FRATELLO ARCHITECTS has been selected as one of 12 winners in the Sukkah City 2010 International Competition. Chosen from over 600 entries, their Homeless House: A Sukkah of the Signs will be built in Union Square, New York City on September 19, 2010.
Just as the sukkah commemorates shelter provided during the forty desert-wandering years of Exodus, the design for our sukkah brings attention to the contemporary state of homelessness and wandering and will serve as a vehicle to raise awareness of homelessness in the United States. The outcome is a structure that is clad with nearly 300 signs made by the indigent from several cities across America. Each sign was acquired directly from individuals as a way of transferring the prize money to those in need. At the end of the exhibit, the structure will be auctioned to fund local homelessness initiatives.
Among the jurors for Sukkah City were Thom Mayne, Ron Arad, Geoff Manaugh, Adam Yarinsky, Ada Tolla and several other notable scholars, designers, architects, thinkers and writers. Sukkah City is organized by Reboot and the Union Square Partnership.
“Of the three entries we’ve actually seen, Rael San Fratello’s is probably the most interesting….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.”
Rael San Fratello Architects: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Maricela Chan, BlaIne Hammerlund, Emily Licht
Modelsmith International Inc.: Karol Popek (fabricators)
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