Keywords Change this

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Project timeline

? – 2008



Location Change this

736 Mission Street
CA 94103 San Francisco

Current state


Architect Change this

Client Change this

Contemporary Jewish Museum

Gross floor area Change this


Partners Change this

Structural engineers
ARUP and OLMM Consulting Engineers

Auerbach Glasow French

Specialist services
A.Zahner Company (Facade)

Project management
KPM Consultant

Services engineers
Ajmani & Pamidi, Inc (M&P) Silverman and Light, Inc (E)

Jewish Contemporary Museum San Francisco Change this

San Francisco, USA
by Daniel Libeskind Change this
1 of 14

Description Change this

The Contemporary Jewish Museum is located on Mission Street in downtown San Francisco. Since opening in June 2008, the Museum has provided space for temporary exhibitions as well as public and educational programs, and is itself a symbol dedicated to the history and revitalization of Jewish life in San Francisco. Housed in the abandoned late 19th-century Jessie Street Power Substation, updated in the first decade of the 20th century by Willis Polk, and landmarked in 1976, the museum makes visible relationships between new and old, between tradition and innovation, bringing together 19th, 20th and 21st century architecture into one building.

The CJM’s design is based on the Hebrew expression “L’Chaim,” which means “To Life.” Following the Jewish tradition, according to which letters are not mere signs, but substantial participants in the story they create, the two Hebrew letters of the chai — chet and yud — with all their symbolic, mathematical, and emblematic nuance, determined the form of the new museum. The building is based on unprecedented spaces created by theses two letter forms of the chai. The chet provides an overall continuity for the exhibition and educational spaces, and the yud, with its 36 windows, is located on the pedestrian connector.


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