Machsike Hadass Synagogue
Modernism ~ Art Nouveau - Synagogue

Machsike Hadass Synagogue

Built by a Polish-Russian congregation, the Machsike Hadass synagogue in Antwerp is the work of Jules Hoffman. Whereas the architectural style of the overwhelming majority of synagogues in Belgium is Neo-Romanesque or Oriental, Hoffman designed the synagogue in the Art Nouveau .As with many others from this uncertain and changing time of 20 th century history, the Antwerp synagogue, although not completely abandoning the symbolic, is a piece of contextual architecture in that it appears, from the exterior to be domestic in scale. Hoffman’s use of the slender curves of Nouveau is subtle and arresting and on closer inspection however, there is no doubting the religious purpose of the building – not least because of the two modestly domed towers that cap the building.

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