Mc Gowan Builders, Inc. completes 35,000 s/f Hebrew Institute of Riverdale project
March 07, 2011 - Design / Build
In addition to Mc Gowan Builders, the project team included SLCE Architects, owner's representative Horizon Project Advisors, structural engineer DeNardis Engineering, and MEP engineer DiBari Engineering.
The $9 million facility serves religious, educational, and social needs of the local Jewish community. The institute houses a large lobby, religious sanctuary, Beit Midrash room, youth Minyan room, Sabbath elevator, offices, community rooms, nine multi-purpose rooms/classrooms, and an exterior patio.
The new structure is adjacent to the institute's old building, which remained in operation during construction of the new building. The Institute's pre-existing building was renovated following the completion of the new structure.
The new building features a steel structural system and concrete foundation supported by twenty 80-ton mini caissons with pile caps. The 40-foot-long, 42-foot-high curved section of the exterior wall follows a 40-foot circular radius.
In anticipation of a future upward expansion, the client requested that the new building accommodate the addition of a fourth floor. The engineering team accommodated this potential expansion by designing oversized foundation footings and the steel structural system.
One of the interior design challenges was bringing natural light to the Beit Midrash study hall located on the lower level. SLCE addressed this issue through the use of clerestory windows and a 40-foot-long glass block window on the street level. The glass block window's height varies from eight to 12.5 inches.
The enlarged sanctuary combines the original sanctuary space in the pre-existing building and the newly built area in the addition. The client requested that the new sanctuary be well lit and spacious, and feature a modern look. The interiors incorporate an exposed ceiling structure and ductwork painted dark blue in both sections of the sanctuary.
The sanctuary features a significantly improved climate control system with visible ductwork located below the ceiling and high-efficiency lighting. The lighting system in the expanded sanctuary includes only 25 fixtures, a 75% reduction in comparison to the 100-fixture system in the old, smaller sanctuary. The designers achieved the reduction in number of fixtures and energy use through improved layout and more efficient fixtures.