ZELLNER and Company

ZELLNER and Company

Los Angeles, CA


A Sanctuary Joining Two Congregations

This project repurposes an existing Christian Baptist religious building into a new home for an urban Jewish congregation. The congregation, formed by the integration of two congregations, chose the site as their new home when the Church moved to a suburban campus.

The existing 1940s hall will be repurposed into flexible meeting spaces while the 1950s school building will accommodate new educational, community and administrative uses. The heart of the new facility will be the Sanctuary hall, designed to orient the congregants directly toward Jerusalem in the East, allowing for flexible seating arrangements while preserving optimal participation with ceremony. A new south-facing sunken landscaped courtyard will afford the congregation a protected outdoor school and daycare play space and a community garden. Lastly a new crystalline lobby will create a new interior gathering space between the new Sanctuary and the existing school building. The lobby will feature a triple height interior staircase facing a series of ten large religious murals assembled into a large super-panel.

The architectural interventions proposed are intended to refocus the original religious campus to the new Sanctuary building, forming the locus of a new combined community. The Sanctuary will make maximum use of natural day lighting by providing a series of north facing light monitors spanning and organizing the space. The exterior is designed to float above the ground plane and will be constructed of large color-tinted and polished tilt-up concrete panels that will include cast-in-place symbols referencing the Jewish Tanakh.


Firm Principals:  Peter Zellner, Paul Naecker

Project Team:
Franco Chen
Yining Deng
Alex Gomez
Yessenia Juarez
Jack Oliva-Rendler
Yuzaburo Tanaka

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Saint Louis, MO, US
Firm Role: Architect