Sukkah, a new collaboration between the Jewish Museum of Australia and leading designer Zahava Elenberg, has today been unveiled at Melbourne’s Birrarung Marr urban park .
Representing a symbol of community, connection and reflection as the city’s restrictions lift, the striking prismatic structure forms a kaleidoscopic canopy and offers a place for visitors to rediscover the city anew.
Originally planned to open in time for the week-long Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot in early October but delayed by extensions in Melbourne’s lockdown, Sukkah is now unveiled as a new outdoor meeting place for Melburnians to gather, reconnect and reflect as the city begins to emerge from its long COVID winter.
“This beautiful site-specific installation reflects the long-held Jewish tradition of constructing temporary booths or huts in which to rejoice with family, friends and neighbours while giving thanks to the earth for its bounty,” says Jewish Museum of Australia director Jess Bram.
“As Melbourne comes out of its long and challenging lockdown, Zahava’s inspiring sculpture feels like the perfect symbol of unity and hope that we’re proud to be offering our city.”
“As our team waits for the Jewish Museum’s spaces to re-open, we’re thrilled to be collaborating with the brilliant Zahava Elenberg and City of Melbourne to bring a little piece of our museum to Birrarung Marr.”
Co-founder of storied architecture firm Elenberg Fraser and founder of furniture fit-out company Move-in, Zahava has created the pop-up installation using the same components used for Clikclax – the innovative new mobile distancing solution that she launched earlier this year in response to Covid-19.
As Elenberg explains, “Sukkah is a temporary shelter in memory of the huts used by the Israelites as they wandered the Sinai Desert during their exodus from Egypt. It is a place of memory and empathy for those who are homeless and displaced.”
Available to visit now as an outdoor-only meeting place, Sukkah will open up further as restrictions ease with visitors be able to enter and view the internal structure.