The new Hillel at The George Washington University is a built-to-suit institutional building that serves the Jewish student population on campus through social, cultural, and religious events that foster students’ connection with their Jewish faith and identity. The new 5-story building features an auditorium and chapel, as well as a roof terrace to celebrate the Sukkot holiday.
Hillel’s presence on a prominent corner lot reflects their mission with both a sense of history and optimism for the future. The massing consists of a strong base and a perched box. The base represents their history and tradition; it is where the most formal spaces are located and is conceived as a solid, striated volume with windows lined by bronze plates. The perched box represents their optimism for the future of a new generation; it is light and smooth in texture, and articulated through a pattern of windows and custom perforated bronze panels.
The result is a strong, memorable, and contemporary presence at an important corner of the GWU campus.