Hermann Zvi Guttmann, Drawing for Design of the Synagogue at Hohe Weide, 1956

    State Archive Hamburg, with the kind permission of the Jewish Community Hamburg.

    Source Description

    It was probably in 1956 that plans made by Hamburg's Jewish congregation, re-established in 1945, for building a new synagogue with a community center at Hohe Weide became concrete. In order to find an architect and an appropriate design, the congregation held a competition. The plan presented here is the design submitted by Frankfurt architect Hermann Zvi Guttmann. It shows a perspective drawing of a rotunda on a plinth base. The lower level was probably meant to accommodate the community center while the synagogue itself constitutes a separate building located above it. The facades reflect the fact that the two parts of the building are meant for very different usages: on the lower level, the emphasis is on the entrance that is accessible via several steps, and the facade appears compact despite the inclusion of a horizontal row of windows; the synagogue space is structured by narrow, vertical slats. The windows are placed in between. This creates a structure that appears open and does not specifically emphasize any particular area on the outside. The building is capped by a low dome. Guttmann situated this free-standing building in a parklike setting. In the architect's archives there are other plans that show variations of his design for this competition, among them a drawing that shows a tapered parabola several meters high that rises above a synagogue with an oval floor plan.
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    Recommended Citation

    Hermann Zvi Guttmann, Drawing for Design of the Synagogue at Hohe Weide, 1956 (translated by Insa Kummer), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-174.en.v1> [July 19, 2024].