Sebago Technics had the opportunity to team with renowned architect Shim-Sutcliffe for the expansion and renovation of the Congregation Bet Ha’am Synagogue in South Portland, Maine.
The place of worship created for Congregation Bet Ha’am represents a unique collaboration between the architect, landscape architect and congregation leadership. The results are an impressive new worship space that seamlessly integrates the interior environment with stunning exterior gardens and gathering spaces. The sense of arrival at the building was carefully considered and integrated into the site plan, featuring an arrival courtyard at the main entrance which affords a welcoming experience.
The exterior spaces are gracefully planted with an interesting variety of native and ornamental species, while stormwater runoff is collected and directed to a rain garden, which cleanses the runoff prior to its discharge from the site.
The area of worship is a grand space that opens out into an enclosed garden that features a reflecting pool, stone terrace and intricately designed landscape plantings. A portion of the roof of the building spills into the reflecting pool during rain events, creating a pleasant visual and ambient sound effect. As seen in the photographs, the garden erupts in a series of colors and patterns ever-changing throughout the growing seasons. During worship sessions and other events, those within the building enjoy an ever-present connection with the outdoor environment.