Colorful Rhinebeck Jewish Center Will Be Upcycled from Old Barn Wood

by , 02/06/13
filed under: Architecture,Long Island

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Rhinebeck Jewish Center, Rhinebeck Synagogue, Reclaimed wood, upcycled barn, Yeshaya Shor, Parsons The New School for Design, radiant floor, sustainable synagogue

The colorful community building was designed by Shor, who graduated from the Architectural Design program at The New School for Design under the guidance of Professor Peter Wheelwright. Both a synagogue and a community center, the space will be a warm place where the people of Rhinebeck can gather, socialize, learn, and pray.

The initial plan for renovating the existing 100-year-old barn on the RJC property fell through when Shor and his collaborators found the structure to be beyond repair. But rather than starting from scratch, the team decided to give the new center the spirit of the old barn, carefully disassembling it and repurposing the materials into the new project.

The new barn was designed to welcome visitors both inside and out, forming a natural courtyard that can be an used as an extension during warmer months. Overhanging eaves shade direct sunlight in summer, while radiant flooring heats in winter. Window are placed for optimal ventilation and decorative stained glass on the Eastern façade representing the Twelve Tribes of Israel adds a decorative touch. A highly insulated thermal envelope keeps temperatures comfortable inside year round.

The ambitious project not only creates a beautiful gathering place set in an idyllic forested area, but also emphasizes the feeling of warmth with modern sustainable practices that are environmentally-friendly.

+ Rhinebeck Jewish Center



  1. xena February 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm
    this is so inspirational! I love how an old barn now has a new use! it really is beautiful how the enviornment was taken into account.
  2. Yeshaya February 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm
    Special thanks to Yoav Menachem, a recent graduate from the Product Design program, and Natalia Priwin, graduate from the Masters of Lighting Design program at Parsons The New School for Design for their contrubution to this project!