HGA Wins Design Honor Award for B'nai Israel Synagogue

HGA Wins Design Honor Award for B'nai Israel Synagogue


HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA) has won a design Honor Award for B'nai Israel Synagogue in Rochester, Minnesota, in the 2009 International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture, co-sponsored by Faith & Form magazine and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA).

B'nai won for Religious Architecture-New Facilities.

Designed by Joan M. Soranno, AIA, design principal with HGA, the 15,000-square-foot building is the first purpose-built synagogue in southern Minnesota. The simple building is laced with profound symbolism, providing an enlightening presence for the Rochester Jewish community and Mayo Clinic visitors.

The synagogue includes a 150-seat sanctuary, classrooms, social hall, library, administrative offices, and catering kitchen.

The sanctuary reinforces communal gathering and participation. The focus is an onyx-clad Ark and translucent screen wall. Material and light are meticulously layered to evoke the Divine Presence and create a sense of calm and tranquility.