Wilbraham Road Synagogue
Designed by Architect Joseph Sunlight (1889-1978), this Grade II Listed Synagogue is built in a neo-Byzantine style and, from the Wilbraham Road elevation, the Tower dominates the composition. Internally, the spectacular double height space is further accentuated by a reinforced concrete dome, supported on arches.
In order to secure the future of the building in the face of a reduced congregation, and continue its use as a Jewish Synagogue and community centre, it was necessary to restore and remodel the interior to provide a religious space of sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the remaining community. An additional door has been inserted and is carried on an independent structure, at a level just above the existing balcony fronts. This structure is designed to be, and to appear to be, a totally modern intervention with a separate existence to the original building. It is intended to be reversible, in so far as is physically possible, without permanent damage to the structure.
The new upper hall created accommodation for religious and secular activities including communal meals during festivals, birthday celebrations and social events. Users are able to enjoy a close view of the vaults and dome in what is now a very significant space in its own right, whilst the lower floor remains as a Synagogue.
Winner 2008 Manchester Society of Architects Design Awards (Conservation and Re-use category)