The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School offers a dual curriculum with emphasis on religious and secular studies. This project involves the complete renovation of a circa 1960 junior high school building to provide a campus for the Upper School, grades 7 to12.
The design incorporates many symbols and motifs based on the Ashkenazi (Eastern European) and COST PER SQ FT$98.00CITATIONSilver CitationFEATURED IN2001 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYChapels/Worship Centers (Spanish and Portuguese) Jewish traditions. The basic organization of the plan evokes a village concept with a central hall acting as a main path bisecting the building from front to back.
The Beit Midrash (House of Study) is at the heart of the school, symbolizing the importance of Judaic studies. To emphasize its importance, it is designed as a building-within-a-building with references to late-19th- and early-20th-century Eastern European synagogues, and is clad in the same masonry as used on the exterior.
The wood detailing is derived from research of 17th-century wooden synagogues in Poland. The wood detailing in the frieze around the clerestory is an interpretation of a balcony railing from a synagogue in Hungary.
"Interior finish reflects old-world style. Exquisite woodwork with lots of symbolism. Sharp details in wood."--2001 jury