Moise safra Center

New York, NY | 65,000 SF | 2019

The Moise Safra Center 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 the Center to develop a building that would act as a second home for the Jewish community it serves, as well as unite a broad range of programming inclusive of both community center and religious functions. Faced with a tight site on the Upper East Side, we needed to strike a balance between the client’s ambitions and the reality of the allowable buildable area. We were also challenged to create distinct identities for the religious and community spaces that would ensure that the building, as a whole, remained cohesive.

We designed a 65,000 SF building packed with community and religious spaces in a vertical campus spread over 14 floors. The program includes a wellness center and pool, classrooms for teens, and flexible spaces designed to adapt to varying program needs. Religious spaces include a double-height sanctuary space and a smaller sanctuary located one floor above, a generous library/study, and offices for the rabbinical staff. We located a banquet room on the building’s upper floors, taking advantage of the ninth floor setback, to add a pre-function area with an outdoor terrace. This floor’s fully retractable glass wall allows events to flow seamlessly from interior to exterior. When complete, the building will provide the Center an inviting environment in which their community can grow and connect.