There is so much power and beauty in the simplicity of the surface, and the profound symbolism associated with SOM‘s recent menorah design, and it is no wonder that it’s a winning entry for Steelcase’s annual Wreath and Menorah Design Competition this year. Conceived by SOM’s Colin Gorsuch, the menorah, which is traditionally used to to observe the re-dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem, is re-created in the form of a gently curving 8×8 framework in solid wax cast. The cast piece mimics the liquidity of the ancient consecrated oil which is traditionally used to lit the eternal flame at the Temple for eight days.
As the menorah burns, the 8×8 framework is revealed. The melted wax falls onto the wooden base and paints a pictorial timeline of the Hanukkah celebration.
In addition to the menorah, Adrian McDermott of SOM created a wreath evoking the circle of life and immortality prevalent in Christian symbolism. SOM’s design re-envisioned it as a torus surface generated by rotating a circle on an axis. Conceived as a lattice frame, the 80 individual parts are deliberately rotated off-axis, evoking the hand-crafted nature of traditional wreaths made from tree boughs. The SOM wreath is composed of layered walnut veneer (symbolic of mental strength and endurance) and a single mirror that reflects the semi-torus lattice, visually completing the circle.
images via SOM