South Hampstead Synagogue


United Synagogue Design and Build Ltd


Public and Community


South Hampstead


Public & Community

Our role in the project

The building itself consisted of housing, teaching rooms, schools, and the worship space. Our role in the project was to help achieve an excellent worship space to enhance the experience of prayers, songs, chants and readings.

We provided advice on the following;

●      Dimension specifications

●      Material specifications

●      The installation of materials

We provided support throughout the planning, construction, and final testing phases. As we were asked to be involved early on in the planning stages, we were able to provide insight during the design. By working with the design team, we were involved in the creation of a beautiful and functional space.

Specific considerations

During the design and planning stage of the project, we endeavoured to thoroughly understand the employer’s requirements. To do this, we interviewed a classical music expert and Rabbi to enhance our understanding of the spiritual and functional roles of the worship space. As part of our research, we were taken to a synagogue which the employer felt was too heavily focused on clarity over quality; the employer wanted to highlight the beauty of the singing, prayer and chanting in a warm and intimate space.

Due to the spiritual nature of the space, there were some important functionality elements to explore. For example, when reading from the Torah the Rabbi turns away from the congregation to face the Holy Book, obscuring the sound of the reading. In the case of this synagogue, the focus for the congregation space was on musical and spiritual quality in preference to clarity of speech.

The sound testing involved in the project included reverberation time measurements at the end of the project and acoustics standards testing for the adjoining residences.

Acoustic features of this project

To achieve the warm, intimate space with a focus on musical and spiritual quality as specified, we advised on the usage and placement of materials. By generating an acoustic model of the synagogue we were able to recommend materials that would create a warm space without obvious echoes.

The mounting of materials was crucial in achieving the required acoustic effect. Our goal was to maintain acoustic energy and low frequencies, enhancing the experience of voices within the space. To do this, we minimised absorption in the room, choosing materials that were reflective. As we were involved in the project early on and kept onboard throughout the construction process, we were able to give recommendations on the use and installation of materials and avoid substitution or incorrect installation.


Adnitt Acoustics is proud to have been associated with a landmark project such as this from design to completion. Following our work on the project, we received the following message from the client, “...the acoustics in the Synagogue are first class...”; we are always happy to know we’ve done what’s been asked of us. It is our willingness to understand the actual requirements of the client with no assumptions about the end project, and using a methodical approach, that enables us to meet specified goals in a project such as this.

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