Temple Bat Yahm

Newport Beach, CA

Cost & Scope: $6.2 million; 2,044 sq. meters, 21,448 sq. meters campus

Key Personnel:

            Mia Lehrer + Associates – Landscape Architect

            Edward Silver & Associates – Structural Engineer

            Robert Bein, William Frost & Associates – Civil Engineer

            Ideas for the Built Environment – Mechanical Engineer

            Integrated Engineering – Electrical Engineer

            Arup Acoustics – Acoustical Engineering


Completion Date: 1999


The synagogue sits within a mile of the Pacific Coast on a 21,448 square meter site in Newport Beach.  The design improvements have transformed the pre-existing facility from a virtually windowless, single building, into an ensemble of spaces that come together to form a spiritual campus of new and old buildings, new landscapes, and public spaces.  


The campus’s design employs a varied collage of emblematic and iconic places, processions, forms, and spaces to house this spiritual community. Many processional axes are explicitly defined places of architecture and landscape.  The terrain is crossed by several patterns and paths, and color is used to emphasize the themes of the campus.


The design reflects the Rabbi’s words and mandate to create buildings and landscapes that are grounded in this world, the horizontal realm, “where God’s immanence is felt”, and that engage the heavens, the vertical realm, where “God’s transcendence is embodied.” In the Torah Center, light is treated as the medium that binds these realms, thereby expressing the Rabbi’s belief that Light and Spirit are synonymous.  


(LINK to Museum Without Walls)


Honor Award , The American Institute of Architects, Faith and Form Magazine, The Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture    2004
Gold Nugget Grand Award for Excellence and Value for Best Public/Private Special Use Facility, PCBC    2004
Honor Award, The American Institute of Architects Orange County    2003

2003    August    LA Architect    Magazine    N/A    Temple Bat Yahm
2004    Goldern Nugget Awards    Award    N/A    Grand Award: Best Public/Special Use Facility
2005    Faith & Form    Magazine    N/A    Faith & Form Religious Architecture Award
2005    Issue 64    Specifier    Magazine    Robbie Moore    Peace On Earth
2006    December-5    Business Week Online    website        Wonders of the World
2007    Jan-22    Houses of God     Book    Michael J. Crosbie     Temple Bat Yahm Torah Center