United Nations Porte Cochere

Architype Dialogue presents

Nic Goldsmith

What was the most difficult issue about working within this project type or the most unexpected challenge that may have influenced new thought in your design?

The most difficult issue from a design perspective was developing a design which could be moved after five years and then reinstalled in sectional parts at other points on the campus. This required a modular approach with inherent flexibility and a review not only of the initial site but future sites.

Did this project expand or evolve your role as an architect or designer in any way? In general, do you feel that the role of the designer is changing on current projects?

The project expanded our role as designers in understanding the United Nations delicate security issues and how much visible enclosure was required, yet preserving an outdoor space. With the facility in midtown New York City, there is a limitless potential of security concerns from tall buildings circling the site. The question on how do to use lightweight structures as security elements is a new and fascinating one and emblematic of a changing role of the designer.

How is your project possible today in a way that it may not have been before and how have trends in technology and society inspired new thought and solutions?

Our project used several different materials that including a Teflon coated glass fabric, a silicone coated glass fabric and cellular polycarbonate panels. The use of these materials in combination is new and inspired by a desire for different translucencies which create a rhythm with the structural bays of the facility.

In the context of this project, how is your studio and design process being influenced by current trends in academic curricula and incoming young architects? In turn, how are current projects and processes guiding the ongoing reformulation and development of academic curricula?

Creating three dimensional twisted steel trusses which can be fabricated in planar fashion on a shop floor was influenced by today’s current trends in computer inspired form finding and algorithmic approaches to design.

Architype Review thanks Nic Goldsmith for his interview and for contributing to this collection of Architype Dialogue.

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