June 22, 2018
Last night (June 21st), the Epstein designed Park Plaza Synagogue was honored as part of the on-going design industry activities taking place in conjunction with the AIA National Conference being held within the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. In a reception held at the S&L Gallery for winners of Interfaith Design/Faith & Form Magazine 2017 International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture, Epsteins Randy Buescher, AIA and Andrew L. Metter, FAIA, were present to receive our award from Faith & Forms editor, Michael J. Crosbie. FAIA.
For Park Plaza, Epstein provided architectural and interior design, as well as full-service engineering services, for an expansion & partial renovation to the Park Plaza Senior Living Center in Chicago, Illinois. Park Plaza is an 180,000 square foot Modern Jewish Orthodox senior retirement facility originally built in 1987. The center includes many amenities for social functions such as a beauty salon, library and game room, as well as other facilities for physical therapy, and worship in an independent community. Originally, those amenities were spread throughout the building, and one of Epstein's tasks was to bring all of these amenities together on the ground floor to create a new renovated social area for all to gather. In addition to this, Epstein completely renovated the lobby featuring a water wall and aviary as well as designing new finishes for all of the ground floor model apartments.
In addition to the renovation portion of the program our architects and engineers were also asked to design a new 3,600 square foot synagogue addition to the East of the existing building. This synagogue was designed to accommodate 70 worshippers on a daily basis.
The architectural expression of Park Plazas synagogue is presented by a series of nested boxes which convey the eternal values of the Jewish culture - Community, Tradition & Faith.
The Community element is expressed by the outer metal box which consists of hard metal conveying the idea of unity and commonality of purpose¦steadfastness. The trellis / screenwall design allows for varying degrees of openness depending upon ones perspective.
The idea of Tradition is articulated through the glass box, which is protected by the metal skin, and speaks of tradition, which is fragile, and being in the middle and, therefore, the glue which holds everything together.
Lastly, the idea of Faith is shown by the Fabric box which consists of the woven gold metal curtain, with its method of construction visible, and therefore, the individual links being an expression of the idea of the responsibility of individual faith.