Construction begins on a new synagogue in Potsdam

Street view with the prayer hall stretched over three floors.

The synagogue is adjoined to the west by the listed Cabinet House, opened in 1753, and to the east by the new “Haus Einsiedelei”.

Children from the city’s Jewish communities lay a copper capsule in the excavation pit.

The shoring of the excavation pit is being carried out in soldier pile form.

Yesterday morning saw the foundation stone laid for the new synagogue and community center in Potsdam. In attendance were Dr. Dietmar Woidke, Minister-President of Brandenburg, Abraham Lehrer, President of the Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany and Vice President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Brandenburg’s Minister of Culture Dr. Manja Schüle, and numerous members of the Jewish communities and those involved in the construction.

The new building is to be erected on the last empty plot on Schlossstrasse in central Potsdam according to a design by Berlin-based architecture firm Haberland Architekten. The five-story building is set to include not only prayer and community spaces, but also an events hall and a visitor café, a library, a music room, and in the basement the so-called mikvah, an important immersion bath in Judaism. The community center is being constructed in reinforced concrete with a flat foundation. Due to the presence of groundwater, the basement level will be built using watertight concrete. Extensive underpinning of the neighboring buildings had to be taken into account in the planning, meaning a low-vibration construction method has to be adopted due to the proximity of the adjacent structures.

WTM Engineers is responsible for the structural design, the excavation planning, and the watertight construction, and is responsible for monitoring the technical engineering.