|Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Midrash Building was designed to house a study center for the Congregação Judaica do Brasil (Jewish Congregation of Brazil). The center is devoted to the debate, discussion and teaching of various themes around Jewish traditions as in literature, arts, history, psychology, politics, etc., in the search for meaning, connections and references in life.
The ground level groups a small store, restrooms, a bar, a kitchen to support events and a small lounge that can be integrated to the terrace through large sliding doors. The first and second floors house, respectively, the Synagogue (liturgical area) and the Auditorium (lectures), and the third floor contains two classrooms for courses (study areas) that may be combined depending on the needs. A restroom, a meeting room and the administrative area complete the floor. On the fourth floor there is a utility room, as well as an uncovered terrace, where specific courses may be held.
On the façade, a fiberglass mesh made up of Hebrew letters in different layers, sizes and different tones of white overlaps the brickwork, extending from the first floor to the top, and to the limit of the neighboring lots. Letters always form the word “Midrash”, which means “to draw sense”.