- CHARITY BENEFIT
By Fernanda Fereira for E.D.Enterprise
It is rare that one has the opportunity to spend time, inhabiting a real work of architecture –structures that transcend the norm and aspire to occupy the same plane as art, literature or philosophy. Even in a world-class city such as New York, true architecture is not commonplace. There are exceptions to this rule. New York is home to many structures which have captured people’s imagination, influenced creators and have made statements recorded in the annals of architectural history. The Guggenheim Museum, the latest New York Times building, the Brooklyn Bridge are some of New York’s landmarks in the history of world architecture. The city itself, in all its iconic complexity, is perhaps the ultimate architectural statement, a work of art on the grandest scale.
Another characteristic of New York is its magnetism to creative talent from all over the world and the way it exudes creative energy like no other place. On the architecture front, it is possible these days to find young, energetic voices striving to be heard above the din of the real estate market. Richard Alan Goodstein, one of the more prominent and innovative young architects in New York, is one of these voices. Goodstein was a senior designer on landmark projects like the Time Warner Center, Moynihan Station and Tower One at the World Trade Center.
Goodstein founded his firm nC2 architecture llc, mapping out a trajectory creating significant and meaningful designs which have a positive influence on everyday lives. Amazed by the architecture, culture and the integration of both in Europe, Goodstein took on a position in the atelier of the renowned architect Hans Hollein in Vienna. As Goodstein moved to Berlin in the search of new challenges, he ended up at Architekten BHHS & Partner (BHHS). With a great work foundation in Europe, the challenge-driven architect decided to return to his home country and chase other dreams. Goodstein returned to the U.S. in 1999, and pursued a job at Skidmore Ownings & Merrill, LLP (SOM), the most successful corporate office in NYC at the time. SOM dominated the NYC architecture world, employed the brightest architects in NYC and worked on the most significant projects in New York, from commercial office towers to major transit projects.
“I decided that I wanted to learn how to build skyscrapers, when I returned to the U.S. in 1999,” said Goodstein. “I was still at a point in my career that I wanted to learn more. I had worked on many different building types in Europe, but never anything approaching the scale of a NYC skyscraper. It seemed to me, the greatest technical challenge in architecture.” Goodstein was given a unique position – he was hired as a designer, but was given the task of bridging the gap between design and technical team.
“As architects, we are educated to solve problems. These problems, or challenges, can be technical, functional, programmatic, aesthetic, or any combination of these. An architectural project is, in principle and regardless of size, a series of challenges. A well-educated architect is equipped to handle these challenges, some of which easily tap in to the architect’s past experience, some of which require a longer learning curve – but the learning experience is always intrinsic to the architectural process.”
His first project, on which he worked three years, was the Time Warner Center – at the time, the largest, most expensive, and probably most complex building project in North America.
“The learning time was negligible since it was integral to the design process. While designing, I was learning how to build the skyscraper by applying concepts learned in school and on previous smaller projects.”
After successful projects at SOM, Goodstein decided to take a new path and use the lessons learned over the course of 15 years of experience to set out on his own, which necessarily meant scaling down the project size.
“I think that working on different types and scales of projects keeps a designer sharp and constantly engaged. At the time, I left SOM and never renovated a townhouse, so similarly, I needed to educate myself – but, as always, this was done in the context of the design process.” Goodstein created the new architectural solutions to a modern urban living. His firm, nC2 architecture is known for its creative architectural solutions with the use of innovative and sustainable materials. Goodstein is a name to look for in 2012.
Photo by Rose Billings