Congregation Shir Hadash

Congregation Shir Hadash, Los Gatos, California

Memorial Sanctuary

Artists Richard Deutsch and Larry Kirkland teamed up to design and build this lovely memorial garden for Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos, California.

The Congregation Shir Hadash outdoor Memorial project is a serene gathering place for temple congregants and serves as the focal point to remember, honor, and celebrate family, friends, and generations past. Seventy-five vertical granite monoliths, which display prayers and names of loved ones, form an outdoor room made of two interlocking ovals. The ovals have a symbolic quality — they embrace the feeling of family and how we are intertwined in life and also in death. Each wall monolith contains a number of names, and the monoliths are placed so that light can pass through between them. During the day, the light creates bright stripes that move around the memorial so one is always aware that the day is changing. When asked initially what congregants wanted to feel in this space, one member replied, “I want to breathe differently.”

• Title and date: Memorial Sanctuary, 2006
• Location: Congregation Shir Hadash, Los Gatos, California.
• Materials: Granite
• Dimensions: 4000-square-foot plaza
• Commissioned by: Congregation Shir Hadash, Los Gatos, California.
• Design and build collaboration by: Richard Deutsch and Larry Kirkland