~ The Evolution of Design~

Plans for the Chabad Lubavitch Center expansion have been underway since its  announcement at the Thirtieth Anniversary Founders' Dinner with the then Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau on March 9, 2003.


2006 photo of the Chabad Lubavitch Center - Texas Regional Headquarters, the first Chabad center built from the ground up in 1977.

A lot of thought and ingenuity brought to the beautiful outcome we have today. Here is an outline portraying the evolution of the design of the Chabad Lubavitch Center Expansion.

Rendering that appeared in the 30th anniversary dinner journal centerfold

But, we needed a little more modernity to the design,
so we engaged in more options...

A friend came up with this (among many variations).

This seemed modern enough, and internal design was set forth.

The architect handed a member of his team the job of coming up with something more meaningful. Not being Jewish and familiar with Chabad, he harnessed the power of the internet researching what Chabad is all about.

He learned that Chabad is about Vessel-Making:

Life's greatest challenge and it's most revolutionary achievement: The making of vessels for G‑dliness. The part of the transformation from a self-oriented object/person to one committed to something greater than itself. The "construction stage" of this vessel making is a greater feat than actually brining G‑dliness into our lives.

Click here for complete article.

He came up with a design based on the shapes of vessels.


Ancient vessels courtesy of google.com image search...

He then incorporated it into the city-code-mandatory access ramp from street level, creating an eyesore into beautiful architecture.


Handrawn and architecural aerial views of the
symbolic "Vessel Ramp" in the current design

He then handed us his hand drawn flat image of his vision,
with his inspiration inscribed on the bottom.

Hand drawn rendering by Travis Dougherty of Harry Gendel Architects

With consultation with administration, parents, teachers and others we received many suggestions and feedback, and implemented all of them.

Among them, we heard the need for more playground space. After returning to the drawing board the idea of a rooftop playground made the finished product a breathtaking masterpiece.

Photo touch-up and computer generated rendering of the future
Chabad Lubavitch Center - Texas Regional Headquarters.

Now, after over thirty years of growth and service for all walks and ages of life, our center will now blossom to a new state of the art campus.

A glorious display of masterful modern architecture and ingenuity, the anchor institutions of the Chabad Lubavitch Center will enjoy enhanced facilities for their activities in outreach, education and social services.

In addition to its function as the Chabad headquarters for Texas in general and the Greater Houston area specifically, the Synagogue, Torah Day School, Mikvaot, Camp Gan Israel, Chabad Hebrew School, Libraries and Collel Adult Education Institute will be serviced with a total of over 30,000 square feet of space for young and old.

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