Jonathan Barnes
Architecture & Design


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Community Mikvah

Columbus, OH | 2018

The Columbus Community Mikvah is a 2,400 SF Jewish ritual bath facility located in a 1 story commercial structure in a historic neighborhood on the east side of Columbus. Guided by strict rabbinical criteria and oversight, rainwater is collected from the roof of the facility and directed into the building, where it is stored in cast concrete tanks that feed the building’s two immersion pools. The building features designated and separated men’s and woman’s facilities, each with their own immersion pool, and a small utensil mikvah between the two. The interior material palette is neutral and sophisticated, providing a minimal yet warm backdrop for the private, introspective and spiritual ritual of immersing in the mikvah. The women’s mikvah room uses honed, striated limestone that emphasizes the solemnity of the immersion ritual. A clear-coated, teakwood ceiling enhances the intimate environment and adds warmth. Three private preparation rooms continue the spa-like environment.

An oiled, cedar plank screen and canopy subtly marks the building entry which is purposely discrete and inaccessible from the street frontage.