Sukkah City

Consider the humble sukkah. Intended to be used for only a few days as a symbolic shelter from the elements while observing the harvest holiday of Sukkot, sukkahs are by their nature designed to be built and disassembled quickly. As a consequence, little thought is given to aesthetics. New York–based journalist Joshua Foer and his colleague Roger Bennett sought to radically shift the perception of what constitutes a sukkah by staging an international architectural competition. Their goal? To stun the sensibilities of their fellow New Yorkers by erecting a temporary sukkah city in New York’s Union Square. Sukkah City chronicles the process under which the entrants were judged and the drama that ensued as the winning design teams shifted from concept to construction. Featuring luminaries such as Michael Arad, designer of the World Trade Center Memorial; Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for the New Yorker; celebrated author and artist Maira Kalman; and the venerable Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Sukkah City invites you to walk with the 200,000 people who wandered through Union Square one weekend in September 2010 to marvel at sukkahs made from a dizzying array of materials including cardboard signs, wire, twine, tree trunks, reeds and glass. Once you watch Sukkah City you’ll never look at a sukkah the same way again.
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