The sanctuary at Temple Beth Israel in Merion Station, PA was desperately in need of a new lighting scheme, as well as to complement the seating and material renovations for the 1950’s architecturally-iconic temple.
The architect reorganized the seating and created a new Bimah that could be moved for larger ceremonies, but mostly set in the center of the space. With the Bimah located in middle, it brings focus to the central stained-glass, mosaic skylight. In addition to up-lighting the beautiful skylight for nighttime effect, BEAM created a special custom-designed chandelier by utilizing 32 individual fixtures connected to a shape reflecting the Star of David, thus creating a celestial effect over the Bimah.
For The Arc, an artist designed the custom glass walls and BEAM backlit the glass to emphasize the bright colors and artistry. The existing ribbed ceiling is cast-in-place concrete which could not be penetrated, so BEAM creatively integrated downlights, accent lighting for The Arc and theatrical lighting for the rabbi to perform services within the structure. Overall, the interior lighting creates an exterior presence for the Temple, as the uplights at the balcony level illuminate the ribbed ceiling, shining through the clerestory glass. All light sources throughout the sanctuary are LED, specified in a very warm color temperature to complement the materials and excellently illuminate the dynamic space.
- Marty Berman Associates