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Temple Sinai, Oakland, Calif.

temple_sinaiTemple Sinai in Oakland, Calif., is the oldest and largest synagogue in the East Bay. The building program for the synagogue included 18,800 square feet of new construction and 9,865 square feet of renovation. Three jewel-like elements-the chapel, the community living room and the library-are wrapped in 6,000 square feet of 1-mm folded VMZinc PIGMENTO Green zinc double lock standing seam panels from Umicore Building Products USA Inc., Raleigh, N.C. Exposed steel elements are featured in clerestory glazing of the chapel, the circulation's spine colonnade and in its three-story glazed walls.

The metal-clad walls and ceiling form a continuous band that in the chapel is inspired by the Jewish tallit, or prayer shawl. The living room and library round out the other foundations of Jewish life representing community and study. Copper was originally planned for the project, but the city of Oakland is moving towards a ban on architectural copper due to copper emissions and run-off into the San Francisco Bay. As a result, tinted zinc was chosen.

The end result is a facility that mimics the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The circulation spine is the same length, 187 feet, as the exposed section of the Western Wall. There is a digital installation embedded in the wall that displays electronic text from random passages of the Talmud. This enables visitors to contemplate ancient text and its commentary.

Mark Horton Architecture, San Francisco, and Michael Harris Architecture, San Francisco, served as the project's architects. Oliver and Co., Richmond, Calif., was the general contractor, and Peterson Sheet Metal, San Ramon, Calif. was the installer. The First Hebrew Congregation of Oakland is the owner.

Umicore Building Products USA Inc.,