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Waugh Thistleton wins approval for all-wood synagogue

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Waugh Thistleton’s design for a wooden synagogue in a Hackney conservation area has won planning permission

The plans, drawn up for the United Synagogue, add a new prayer hall as an extension to an existing locally listed Victorian lodge building on the site, a historical Jewish cemetery.

Council officers approved the plans despite opposition from the Central and South Hackney Conservation Area Advisory Committee, a voluntary group that assesses planning applications.

Practice director Andrew Waugh said: ‘Lauriston Synagogue offers an organic, considered addition to the area, creating a modern link between the historic Jewish connections of the site and east London.’

The 60m² new structure will be constructed from engineered timber, referencing traditional timber eastern European Ashkenazi synagogues.

It will, however, use modern methods of construction, allowing the frame to be prefabricated and assembled on site.

The conservation area committee objected to the plans, saying they would block views of the cemetery.

Sketch

Sketch

It added: ‘The design is poor, presenting nothing of interest from the street. The grey-coloured wooden exterior will detract from the appearance of the conservation area.’

But a report by London Borough of Hackney planning officers said the building would help provide for a rising need for synagogues in the area.

It said: ‘The proposal represents a high-quality design solution that works within the constraints of the site, including trees. The proposal would have an acceptable impact on the character and appearance of the host building and the Victoria Park Conservation Area.’

The project is the second collaboration between the practice and United Synagogues after they worked together on the New Bushey Cemetery in Hertfordshire.

Waugh thistleton synagogue plan

Waugh thistleton synagogue plan

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