Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue

JRC’s commitment to Tikkun Olam – Hebrew for “repairing the world” – informed the design of the new 31,600 sf synagogue.  The first house of worship to achieve LEED Platinum required a holistic approach to sustainable strategies.

The solution, a precious wooden box, is a visual testament to these values. The wood cladding is recycled cypress harvested from demolished barns.  The building makes a sustainable transition by using  existing foundations and demolition spoils as engineered fill.  Trees that could not be preserved were harvested for use within the building. Construction waste was placed in gabions and used to create site features.  40% of materials are regionally manufactured with Jerusalem Stone as the deliberate exception.  The Jerusalem stone wall, representing less than 1% of the modest $230/sf cost, was included for its spiritual connection and anchors the box to create a baseline for all activities. The processional stair outside the wall provides a meaningful and eventful transition between spaces.

Offices, early childhood program, and chapel occupy the first floor; religious school and library are on the second floor; the sanctuary, social hall and kitchen are on the third floor, a strategy that allowed cost effective construction of high volume space for the sanctuary.


Project Type


300 Dodge Avenue, Evanston, Illinois, 60202, United States

Related links


  • Carol Ross Barney, FAIA
  • Ross Barney Architects
  • Alan Saposnik
  • Bulley & Andrews, LLC
  • HJKessler Associates, Inc.
  • Cotter Consulting, Inc.
  • C.E. Anderson & Associates, P.C.
  • EYP Mission Critical Facilities
  • Oslund and Associates
  • Talaske