Jewish Heritage Report
Vol. II, Nos. 1-2 / Spring-Summer 1998
Hi-Tech Synagogue
Hi-Tech Synagogue Proposed for Leeds, England

A Multi-Media Center is just one original idea for the future of the Sheffield Synagogue, Wilson Road, according to students of the Department of Architecture at the University of Huddersfield.  A ‘virtual reality’ video film of what the interior might look like filled with PCs with Internet access has been created using the latest computer modeling and animation techniques.

The final year students were asked to design a sympathetic conversion of the Grade II listed synagogue (Rawcliffe & Ogden 1929-30) to another use, in the event of its possible closure.  A group of about 20 students, divided into five teams, competed with one another to come up with the best scheme in a project which simulated the challenges of real-life architectural practice.  Other schemes proposed included a school, sports center, restaurant, and theater.

The students studied the building, took photographs and made measured drawings which were displayed in an end of term exhibition attended by teaching staff and the college Dean.  They were treated to a prior introduction to Judaism by Rabbi Y. Golomb of the Sheffield Synagogue and a visit to the Manchester Jewish Museum.

The project was devised by course tutor Helen Price as part of the Survey of the Jewish Built Heritage under the direction of Dr. Sharman Kadish.  The Survey, sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is recording and researching synagogues, cemeteries, and other historic Jewish sites throughout Britain and Ireland.

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Updated: 12-14-98