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European Center of Jewish scholarship
Winner - Gold
Designer: Elisabeth Rüthnick
Design Type: Re-Builds, Re-use & Restoration (Showing Before & After), Schools & Campuses
Company / Organization / School: SSP Rüthnick Architekten
Team Members: Elisabeth Rüthnick
Potsdam's first synagogue with 50 seats is located in the center of the listed ensemble. The art in the synagogue gave the space another special attention and required additional integrative design work. The former Orangery (with a length of 30 meters) was structurally changed several times, such as the conversion to a gym during the GDR era. The original use should be recognizable again by getting back the character of an Orangery. This was done associatively and with contemporary means. The current south facade was completely dismantled and renewed as a glass facade. A modern, elongated structure made of exposed concrete fits into the existing structure as a house within a house. In the "buffer zone", between the new south façade and the house within the house, lounge areas and self-study areas were created for the students. The light effects from the multicolored printed glass façade further enhances the quality of the space. The valuable, 250-year-old historic fabric of the buildings in the Sanssouci Park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin," was preserved as far as possible and carefully restored in a manner appropriate to the monument.