“Inside-Out Succah” faces outwards, initiating conversation in an inclusive community setting.
The succah is a temporary structure - much like a cubby house - built by Jewish families during the annual harvest festival of Succot to commemorate the exile from Egypt. There is no definitive succah shape or style, merely a few rules that define a minimum of enclosure and permanence. While a European succah might have solid walls and an ornately painted interior, a Middle-Eastern succah might look more like a thatch hut. When you sit in a succah to share a meal or pass the time you should be able to see the sky, hear the wind and even feel the rain.
Our Inside-Out Succah follows all the rules for a traditional succah, but inverts what is within and without. At the centre of our succah, where you would normally find a table and chairs, there is only an empty void, open to the sky. The outer wall of the succah is made up of 11 small seating structures - each one its own, self-contained succah - which are linked together in a single collective circle. You might think of it as a meeting-place succah, a passing-time succah or perhaps a bus-shelter succah. The Inside-Out Succah welcomes visitors from all sides and orientates their view not inwards but outwards, towards the fragile and beautiful world all around them. We hope that the Inside-Out Succah will spark conversation about the vibrant history and uncertain future of this strange and wonderful Jewish tradition.
Inside-Out Succah is a collaboration between Other Architects and Izabela Pluta. David Neustein and Grace Mortlock are Other Architects, an emerging firm who have gained experience in a range of architectural and artistic scales: from curating an exhibition at RMIT Melbourne, producing documents and models for the Chicago Biennial and winning the 2017 NGV Architectural Summer Commission.
Other Architects’ projects reduce architecture to its essential forms and effects, producing ethereal, beautiful works.
Izabela Pluta is a Polish-born, Australian artist whose expanded photographic practice confronts temporality, mutability and the impermanence of places via material investigations.