Abre Etteh, Detroit, 2018


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Abre Etteh and Jamie Feldman     Download Original

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This sukkah was commissioned by the Downtown Synagogue of Detroit as part of Detroit’s Month of Design 2018.

Since biblical times, the sukkah – a temporary structure giving thanks for the autumn harvest and commemorating the exodus from Egypt – has served as the centrepiece of the eight-day Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

The design of the sukkah takes inspiration from the shaded canopy of a tree, which can provide a very modest form of shelter that leaves us open and connected to the natural world.

Blue in many cultures is a symbol of celebration. The chosen hue stands out strikingly against the surrounding architecture, highlighting its significance as a symbol of the festival. Inside the sukkah, 300 milled cedar wood tiles are hung from the ceiling, perfuming the space. During the week of the exhibition, the tiles were inscribed with hand-written messages and sentiments from local residents as a means of sharing a sense of ownership of the structure.

The open structure allows in breezes to gently sway the shingles, filling the space with a dappled light and the gentle sounds of a rhythmic chiming, making allusions to the biblical call to celebrate with jubilant noises. At its heart sits a low-lying brass covered bowl filled with water. Light reflected off the water’s surface illuminates the cedar tiles in ripples of light.


  • Begun: Oct 2018
  • Completed: Oct 2018
  • Floor area: 4m2
  • Sector: Religious
  • Total cost: £8,000
  • Procurement: Bespoke
  • Address: 1457 Griswold St, Detroit, 48226, United States

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