About this talk

Running time: 26 minutes

Chicago-born architect engineer the late Myron Goldsmith trained first at the Armor Institute of Technology, then at Illinois Institute of Technology under Mies van der Rohe (see I Don't Want To Be Interesting, I Want To Be Good). Later, after working as an engineer for several offices, followed by seven years in Mies' office from 1946 - 1953, he went to the University of Rome to study under the engineer Pier Luigi Nervi. In 1955 he joined Skidmore Owing & Merrill, where he was a partner from 1967 until his retirement in 1983. After 1961 he was Professor of Architecture at IIT's Graduate School of Architecture.

He acknowledged Mies and Nervi as the two greatest influences in his career. Both taught him that structure is the basis of architecture. From Mies he inherited structural purity. From Nervi he learned to shape structure to express the forces within. The work which Goldsmith did with both men proved to be the basis of his subsequent work with SOM, where his input of ideas were often incorporated by other SOM designers. He was the recipient of many honours and awards, and came to be known as a prime theorist of the Chicago school of thought.

His skill as a sensitive architect is apparent in the illustrations he shows with his talk, particularly with his more modestly-scaled buildings. He says that the goal in all his work had been to solve in a visual way the engineering problems: "the visual solution has always been uppermost".

Please note that a transcript of this talk is available - please contact us for further details.

Myron Goldsmith


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