GKD: A golden veil for the synagogue in Munich
The Jewish Community Center is located in the heart of Munich’s historic district at St. Jakobplatz, right next to the Town Hall and the Church of Our Lady.In memory of the orthodox synagogue destroyed by the Nazis back in 1938, the main synagoguebears the same Hebrew name: Ohel Jakob (“Jacob’s Tent”). Its expressive architecture is characterized by two stacked cubes: a massive, temple-like rock base with a filigree glass construction on top clad in a bronze-colored translucent woven metallic veil. This interplay of stability and fragility is a convincing constructional metaphor for the Jewish leitmotifs of temple and tent. From the core of this archaic rock base rises a twelve meter high glass cube bathed in light with triangles formed into Stars of David shimmering through its textile-like metallic mantle.
The outer skin of the glass dome was made to specifications using the spiral mesh type Escale by GKD – Gebr. Kufferath AG.The roof and façade of the glass lantern are clad in a total of 1,300 m² of Escale mesh. Made of bronze, the spirals of the mesh were widened to create the optical impression of an equilateral triangle. An impression reinforced by the similarly triangular construction of the glass façade behind the mesh. The overlapping of the elements creates an abstract Star of David. The decision to use the material bronze was influenced not only by its aesthetic beauty but also by the functional advantages of the mesh. As time passes, the bronze of the façade will oxidize and lend the building a unique patina of its own. Furthermore, the long service-life, non-flammability, easy maintenance and recyclability of the woven metal mesh make this material a technically and economically attractive solution.