Oracles Place: A Unique Jewish Association Temple in Taiwan

Design Inspired by Durer's Praying Hands

Taiwan's first Jewish temple, Oracles Place, draws its inspiration from Durer's iconic oil painting, Praying Hands. The design concept revolves around the arched lines of the palms in the painting, which serve as the foundation for the entire project. Each interior space within the temple incorporates curvature-based ideas and artistic details, creating a harmonious and visually captivating environment.

The design team, led by Long Tsai Corp., ingeniously transitions the parabolic and catenary arch lines from Durer's painting to form small arched patterns throughout the temple. These patterns appear both randomly and orderly, adding a sense of intrigue and uniqueness to the space.

Located in Taipei, Taiwan, Oracles Place is not just a place of worship but also a cultural hub. The temple's design showcases the rich symbolism and traditions of Judaism while embracing innovative materials, colors, and technology.

The entrance of the temple features a reception counter, administrative office, elders' room, wall of periodicals, and a waiting area. The central corridor, adorned with curved lines, guides visitors' visual focus towards a colorful glazed glass display wall. This display wall incorporates the symbolic holy grail and Star of David patterns, transforming them into a spiritual showcase.

One of the unique features of Oracles Place is the inclusion of a kosher restaurant on the left side of the corridor. The hall, with its saturated peach base color, is illuminated by interspersed copper gold mosaic lamps. Exquisite wooden wireframes outline the layers, vividly representing the fertile land of Canaan.

The high-rise cathedral ceiling of the hall features opposing pairs of fan-shaped rib ridges, creating a balanced and visually striking effect. The synagogue on the top floor boasts a double-slope ceiling adorned with intricate patterns. The seating arrangement in the hall follows the gender partition concept, ensuring a harmonious and inclusive environment.

Despite its religious significance, Oracles Place is not limited to religious gatherings. The temple's spaces are open to the public, allowing for art curation, theme activities, lectures, and other events that promote cultural exchange and learning about Judaism.

The design team faced several challenges during the project, including ensuring neighborhood friendliness by installing additional heat and sound insulation. The windows on both sides of the temple were designed with strengthened sound insulation and ventilation to enhance airflow and prevent disturbances to the neighbors.

Another challenge was the design of the baptism pool, which required the use of natural running water. The team adopted an ancient method of one-time concrete pouring and covered the pool body with Jinsha mosaic. Rainwater recovery equipment and an underground water storage tank were also installed to supply water for the baptism pool.

Oracles Place is a testament to meticulous work and thoughtful design. The project, which took over 800 days to plan and execute, showcases the fusion of spirituality, artistry, and cultural exchange. It serves as a bridge between nations and a place for people to connect with Judaism and appreciate its beauty and traditions.

Oracles Place was awarded the Iron A' Design Award in 2023 for its well-designed, practical, and innovative approach. This prestigious award recognizes creations that meet professional and industrial requirements while contributing to a better world.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: LONG TSAI CORP.
Image Credits: Lucas K. Doolan & Studio Millspace
Project Team Members: Wu Ching-I Wu Peng-Han
Project Name: Oracles Place
Project Client: LONG TSAI CORP.

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