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Projects / Temple de Hirsch Sinai Eastside Synagogue

Temple de Hirsch Sinai Eastside Synagogue


Bellevue, WA


Temple de Hirsch Sinai


36,000 sf synagogue



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Recognizing a need for a new Eastside synagogue, Temple De Hirsh Sinai (the Northwest’s largest reform congregation) searched for many years for an ideal site. Finding no ideal properties, the congregation found a challenging five-acre wooded site with three-acre native growth protection area.

The long and narrow buildable area dictated a linear organization of the project’s components. The 650-seat sanctuary and social hall were located proximate to one another to promote seating expansion and multi-functioning. Recognizing its significance, the sanctuary was given the most prominent architectural form and was located at the site’s entrance. The sanctuary utilizes “gather around seating” on the main level and shallow balconies at the upper floor to promote a sense of intimacy.

In response to the narrowness of the site, the 28-classroom religious school was configured as three wings separated by exterior courtyards and connected by glazed bridges.


Merit Award in Faith & Form Magazine’s Annual Award, 2004
Merit Award for Excellence in Masonry Design, Masonry Institute of WA, 2006

Photography: © Lara Swimmer Photography