Bringing the look of old world Jerusalem to a region known for technological innovation is no small feat, especially when the project budget is of the utmost concern. So when a small congregation that started on Mercer Island needed to find a larger home, the elders of the synagogue set out to have a new commercial building designed that would blend ancient Jerusalem with the contemporary Northwest: the Temple B’nai Torah.
Architect Walter Schacht of Schacht Aslani Architects wanted a cost-effective, durable exterior material that would look like ancient stone. Masonry concrete block was blended in three custom colours to evoke the creamy hues of buildings in Jerusalem.
“Using blended block is rather unusual”, said Schacht. “We randomly mixed the differently coloured blocks to create the appearance of stone walls that gives the building a sense of permanence.”
In addition, the new commercial building needed to be able to withstand the climate of the Northwest, with an average of 150 rainy days a year, so a water repellant admixture was required.
To protect against water penetration and keep the temple looking as intended, DRY-BLOCK® integral water-repellant block admixture and DRY-BLOCK® mortar admixture from GCP were specified.
Used in the construction of educational, industrial and commercial buildings, DRY-BLOCK® minimises absorption of water into the concrete masonry units reducing the likelihood of moisture problems throughout the life of the building. It’s a solution that helps eliminate surface staining, reduces the need for maintenance and makes using masonry blocks a more cost-effective choice.
The result is a beautiful, award winning building in Bellevue, Washington that incorporates masonry block, steel and glass. “Block isn’t easy to blend”, said Mike Fletcher, the architectural sales representative at Mutual Materials, “and this project is elevating block beyond traditional design concepts”.
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Last Updated: 2021-07-27