The art of residential architecture with Edward Ira Schachner
A RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECT DEVELOPS IDEAS, CONCEPTS AND DESIGNS FOR HOUSES, APARTMENTS AND ALL FORMS OF RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS, THAT STRIVE TO BE BOTH FUNCTIONAL AND BEAUTIFUL. WORKING WITHIN A CRITERIA THAT MUST RESPOND TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF EVERYONE INVOLVED, FROM CLIENT TO CONTRACTOR TO INTERIOR DESIGNER, RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE IS A DEMANDING DISCIPLINE. IT ENCOMPASSES BOTH THE PRAGMATIC ASPECTS OF A PROJECT SUCH AS BUDGETING, BUILDING CODES, TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS AND SITE APPROPRIATE MATERIALS AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS: A REFINED AESTHETIC, SENSITIVITY TO SPACE AND LIGHT, AND OFTEN A KNOWLEDGE OF STYLISTIC HISTORICAL PRECEDENTS.
EDWARD IRA SCHACHNER, ARCHITECT, BASED IN NEW YORK, ENJOYS A STERLING REPUTATION AS AN ARCHITECTURAL AND DESIGN FIRM THAT SPECIALIZES IN BEAUTIFULLY DETAILED AND HISTORICALLY CORRECT RESIDENTIAL DESIGN. SOME YEARS AGO, IRA SCHACHNER, FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL OF THE FIRM, RESPONDED TO A MAILING I DID TO ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS FEATURED IN A MAGAZINE ARTICLE ON DECOR. HOW FORTUNATE FOR ME!
HE HAS INTRODUCED ME TO WONDERFUL CLIENTS AND WE SHARE A MUTUAL INTEREST AND APPRECIATION OF AMERICAN AND CONTEMPORARY ART. WHETHER AT A WHITNEY PREVIEW OF JEFF KOONS’ EXTRAVAGANT POP SCULPTURES OR GAUGUIN’S REMARKABLE AND LITTLE KNOWN WOOD CARVINGS AT MoMA, IRA ALWAYS BRINGS A WEALTH OF UNEXPECTED REFERENCES AND A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE TO THE EXPERIENCE.
IRA’S PROFESSIONAL HISTORY INCLUDES WORKING WITH THE REMARKABLE RENZO MONGIARDINO, IN THE OFFICES OF I.M. PEI AND ARCHITECT/ART COLLECTOR, PETER MARINO. IRA NOT ONLY HAS A KEEN TALENT AND UNDERSTANDING OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN BUT IS AN ACTIVE AND ENTHUSIASTIC OBSERVER AND CONNOISSEUR OF THE REMARKABLE ART COLLECTIONS THAT HE HAS VIEWED AND INSTALLED.
THE LRFA BLOG LOOKS FORWARD TO SHARING IRA’S INSIGHTS AND WONDERFUL FORAYS INTO THE WORLD OF INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AND COLLECTING.
IRA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE LRFA BLOG. WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND? I KNOW YOU GREW UP IN CANADA. WHERE DID YOU STUDY AND WHEN DID YOU COME TO NEW YORK?
I grew up in Montreal and went to Architecture School in Ottawa at Carleton University. The school was an amazing studio environment with a broad education that pretty much prepared me for a very diverse professional world. Part of that education was spent at the Architectural Association in London which is a pretty progressive place where Zaha Hadid went to school but amazing because every great name in the field came by to lecture. I travelled as much as possible and, though educated in the modernist tradition, I graduated into a world that had rediscovered the Beaux Arts and Classical design elements. After getting my degree, I headed to Toronto.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD OF ARCHITECTURE?
I began my job hunt during one of those recessions so it was not an easy time. My first job was for a very white shoe firm in Toronto, Page & Steele, that concentrated on glass and steel high rise commercial buildings. I was put into the ‘Design” department because I knew nothing and spent seven months drawing the interiors for elevator cabs. Hardly inspiring work but I was excited to be working and getting paid anything at all. At the time I thought my future lay in designing modernist high rises!
WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO NEW YORK AND WHAT PROMPTED THE MOVE?
I came to New York with a connection made for me at Page & Steele to work at IM Pei. I arrived to get married and immediately was thrown into a very different world of New York, fast paced, highly detailed and design oriented projects. Pei was one of my heroes so it blew me away just to be in that orbit. It was one of the best experiences I ever had because it turned out to be miserable and I realized that I was not cut out for a large corporate work environment. I still had a lot to learn and I realized that I would never get my feet wet unless I went to a much smaller office where I had to learn to do everything.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG WITH IRA WILL DETAIL HIS EARLY PROFESSIONAL HISTORY. IRA IS AN ENTHUSIASTIC AND KNOWLEDGEABLE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE WITHIN THE ARCHITECTURAL WORLD. DO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIS PRESENCE ON THE LRFA BLOG TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE UNIQUE WORLD OF ARCHITECTURAL RESIDENTIAL DESIGN.
THANK YOU, AS ALWAYS, FOR READING!