Moise Safra Community Center

  • Large stone fins on the facade are angled to reveal the stained glass art of the worship spaces.

  • Synagogue lobby

  • The community center lobby is separated from the synagogue lobby by a glass feature wall layered with a thin sheet of stone.

  • A high-tech teen center with a large multipurpose space is on the fifth floor.

  • The full-service Kosher kitchen is equipped to host classes and parties

  • The double-height gymnasium on the eighth floor poses unique structural challenges to the building.


Moise Safra Community Center

MSCC is a new institution, organized around the need for a place to worship and celebrate, as well as to nurture its members. Drawing from our deep understanding of similar institutions, PBDW helped guide MSCC to develop a building that will support their ambitious program.

Currently under construction on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the Moise Safra Community Center (MSCC) was envisioned as a second home to the Jewish community it will serve. The 65,000 square foot building is packed with community and religious spaces in a vertical campus of 14 floors.

Using a holistic approach was crucial in unifying the design of its disparate uses. The building has two separate identities; religious spaces are characterized by a restrained elegance in palette and detailing, while the community center is casual and relaxed. Their common design sensibility maintains a feeling of oneness throughout the building.

Because of the tight urban site and the requirement to maximize the usable area for program use, PBDW worked closely with MSCC to strike a balance between their ambitions and the reality of the allowable building area.

The community center includes a wellness center and pool on the lower levels of the building. Upstairs, three floors of classrooms and multi-purpose rooms will accommodate art and cooking classes, yoga and dance, a dedicated recreation room for teens, and flexible spaces suitable for varied programming.

The religious spaces include a double height sanctuary space and a smaller sanctuary located one floor above, with a generous library/study room, and offices for the rabbinical staff.

On the building’s upper floors, taking advantage of the setback that occurs on the 9th floor, is the dining lounge and outdoor terrace. The fully retractable glass wall of the lounge allows fair-weather events to flow seamlessly from interior to exterior. Overlooking the terrace is the double height dining hall, glazed on three sides to capture the expansive views above the neighboring roofs.

When complete, the building will provide MSCC a welcome environment in which their community can grow.


Moise Safra Community Center


New York, NY

Date Completed


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