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Temple Or Atid

Wayland, MA

Congregation Or Atid’s new synagogue includes a 250-seat sanctuary, a library/chapel for smaller services, classrooms, support offices, a function room, and a kosher kitchen. The contemporary exterior is clad in Western Red Cedar clapboard, resonating with earlier buildings of similar scale in the neighborhood.

The building is designed to provide proper orientation for religious worship and to connect with its wooded landscape. The shape of the building suggests a hierarchy of volumes, naturally leading the eye to the sacred space of the sanctuary. A continuous clerestory provides natural light for the entire congregation; seating is in concentric pews. Views to the woods beyond are framed by two mature stands of pine trees and a gently sloping lawn.

The synagogue features a new exterior envelope with extremely high thermal performance. The site plan maximizes permeable surfaces; a new vegetated wetland helps to manage storm water surges.


2006   Boston Society of Architects – Honor Award Citation
2003   Faith & Form Magazine – Architecture Award

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16,000 sf

COST (2002)

$4.9 million