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Israel - Hod HaSharon Synagogue: tender is the night


Completed in 1934, the synagogue of Hod HaSharon is located right in the centre of the elliptical main square of Magdiel, one of the four suburbs that merged in 1964 to  establish Hod HaSharon. Since its foundation, the synagogue was considered not only the center of Magdiel religious life, but it also housed firstly the local Committee, and, subsequently, the local Council. During the British mandate, the synagogue served as headquarters to the Jewish Settlement Police.

The exterior architectural structure of Magdiel synagogue is simple and square in its shape, severe and austere in its appearance, with no ostentatious decoration. Built like a fortress, the two-storey structure presents, above the entrance door, five narrow and tall windows  designed in the typical Israeli international style. Above these windows there is a small gable fitted with a menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum used to commemorate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah (Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication). The only purely decorative element of the whole structure, anyway sober and discrete, is the dual relief cornice that encircles the upper part of the synagogue.

As a new LED lighting system was required by Hod HaSharon municipality, the appointed lighting consultants had to develop an innovative illumination scheme, involving the synagogue and the surrounding square and garden, that should spread a feeling of calm and quietness through a skilful use of a well distributed illumination. Soft touches of cold white light should enhance building, trees and pathways with a sort of waving succession of light and shadow recalling the elliptical shape of the square. A pleasant, geometrical design was therefore expected to create vibrating light contrasts between the synagogue and its surroundings while maintaining a decent overall illumination level.

Supplied by the Israeli company General Electric Engineering AEG LTD, different models of GRIVEN LED luminaires were chosen for this project after successfully passing demanding quality tests. The square main lighting now comes from specifically designed benches and low walls that feature in their front sides one GRIVEN PARADE D-W-5 RECESSED unit each, an exterior high quality linear LED module fitted with five bright white light LED sources, specific for recessed use in pedestrian areas. While the standard version comes with medium or wall wash optics for direct wall illumination, for this project an optional elliptical optics was strongly recommended by the appointed lighting designers to obtain low glare, wide diffused elliptical beams on the pavement of the courtyard.

Moreover, in order to strengthen this quiet, soft atmosphere, the palm trees of the garden have been lit up by batteries of DUNE W MK2, a round-shaped,   super compact white light LEDs fixture, engineered for exterior recessed applications. Fitted with the highest precision technology, its 20 cold white LEDs have been coupled with narrow and medium optics to give an extremely homogeneous light output that emphasizes in a gentle way trunk and foliage of the palm trees.

To complete the general lighting of the site, the façade of the synagogue has been only partially  lit up by some units of PARADE D-W-5 RECESSED embedded in the pavement close to the access ways in order to maintain a discreet illumination level without creating a deep contrast between the front side of the building and its surroundings. On the contrary, all the other sides of the synagogue have been wall washed up to the lower cornice, beautifully enhanced by a cold white light, with the help of 17 units of PARADE S-W-40 with elliptical wide optics installed close to the walls. PARADE S-W-40 is a modular and adjustable super flux, high luminance LED bar fitted with 40 warm or cold white LEDs. Superb output with real uniform light coverage, even on close-up installations, is provided by the newly conceived elliptical and asymmetrical optics specifically engineered for accurate wall washing effects.

Products specified:
29 x AL1679 PARADE D-W-5 RECESSED COLD WHITE ELLIPTICAL
  4 x AL2334 DUNE MK2 COLD WHITE NARROW
  8 x AL2336 DUNE MK2 COLD WHITE MEDIUM
17 x AL3122 PARADE S-W-40 COLD WHITE ELLIPTICAL WIDE

For further info please contact:
Yossi Meiri, meiri@gee.co.il / meiriy@yahoo.com  

Credits:
Municipality:
City Planner: Aliza Seidler-Granot,  City Architect: Sharon Glotter, Head of infrastructures: David Watmacher, Deputy Head of infrastructures: Moti Kesselman, Head of Lighting and power division: Avi Cohen
Contractor: Yonat Hadarom
Power and Development LTD: Doron Menzon, Rami Hassan
Project Architect: Tichnun Nof Ltd. Landscape Architects
Electric Engineer/ lighting Consultant: Haim Einav, Dov Chibutero, consulting Engineers
Griven Luminaires Supplied by: General Electric Engineering AEG (2005) LTD

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