Rodfei Sholom

San Antonio, TX

The building is an expression of Man’s relationship with God/Nature.

Man communicates with God through prayer, represented in the light from the random uplights below the ceiling. The reflected light, and prayer, helps illuminate the Sanctuary.

God communicates with Man through the sacred Torah. The light of the Torah emanates from the Ark, which is designed as a lantern of copper with perforations in a pattern of the Menorah.

The abundant light of Nature helps illuminate the interior.  The expansive view of the Live Oak trees is reflected in the random glass mullions.  The exposed structural columns relate to the trees, and are an expression of the natural structural forces. The wood infill panels also express the exterior trees.  The overall oval shape is like an opening in the woods, embracing the interior.

The 12 columns on each side represent the 12 tribes of Israel.  The two columns in the front are turned flat, and represent the sacred Tablets of Moses.  These columns also have a slot of natural daylight between them which gives light to the interior from the Tablets.

The Social Hall’s expression is similar to the Sanctuary, except that the structure is more regular, expressing the more physical activities of dining.