An interesting competition and potential for installation is Sukkah City. A recent email from one of the co-organizers Joshua Foer explains the concept: “…it aims to radically reinvent the original green building: the sukkah. The sukkah is an ephemeral, elemental structure traditionally erected by Jews for one week each fall. Its ancient design constraints require that it have a roof made of shade-providing plants or trees, through which one can see the stars. Sukkah City will be a visionary village of 12 radically experimental sukkahs put up for three days this fall in Union Square Park, NYC.”
:: A typical modern Sukkah – image via Beliefnet
Adding to the complexity of these interventions are a series of ‘rules’ that guide development, based on what amounts of ancient building codes such as “A sukkah may be built on top of a camel.” or the more distinct: “A whale may be used to make a sukkah’s walls. Also a living elephant.” More pragmatics revolve around structural components like: “The sukkah must have at least 3 walls, but the third doesn’t need to be complete. The walls must remain unshaken by a steady wind.”
:: image via Sukkah City
The most intriguing element with the blending of architecture and landscape is the idea of the vegitectural roof made “…shade-providing plants or trees, through which one can see the stars.” This can be interpreted in simple ways, with a covering of materials called s’chach using woven bamboo or palm leaves – keeping remaining openings for starlight viewing.
:: image via Wikipedia
The variations of course encompass the fully vegetated, such as these partially and fully vegetated varieties.
:: image via Israeli Museum Jerusalem
:: image via St. Marks Oakland
With a broadly interpreted rulebook and innate program of ephemerality, the entries should be an interesting mix – all juried by a pretty esteemed cast for determining winners. Entries are due on August 1, with installation of a dozen winning entries in in Union Square Park on September 19-21.