A Journey Through Space and Time


By Lee H. Skolnick, FAIA


Architecture has always been a testament to the values, beliefs, interests, spiritual and intellectual climate, technology, and politics of its era. Both scholars and citizens look to the buildings, dwellings, and public spaces where people live, work, learn, and play to try to discern what life was like for the people who inhabited them at any given time throughout history.


As architects and designers, we are acutely aware of this formidable heritage. Shaped by the past and yet fully immersed in the present, we focus on the unique creative problems to be solved in every project. And we remain intensely curious and energized by the ever-changing circumstances that will shape the future.


project images for journey through space and time - SKOLNICK

Left: B’nai Yisrael Synagogue (Photo by Nikolas Koenig); Right: Sagaponack Beach House (Photo by Joshua McHugh)


At SKOLNICK, this year marks a pivotal milestone in our studio’s history – our 40th anniversary. These past four decades hold epic stories of change in the world as it was once known. For our studio they also encompass an array of evolving trends, mores, and priorities, all of which have formed the background for our wide-ranging, yet specific design responses.


project images for journey through space and time - SKOLNICK

Slesin-Steinberg Residence (Photo by Mick Hales) “Advancing the Mission: Cooper Union at 150” (Photo by SKOLNICK)


Our experience has taught us something of what is ephemeral and what is enduring, even as the world around us continues to metamorphose. We refuse to be seduced by the enticing allure of ‘style’, but have instead searched for the ‘essences’ which can inform our design process and help us to achieve true embodiment – the potential to synthesize every aspect of a project into a distinctive story that could be appropriate only for its particular situation and time.


project images for journey through space and time - SKOLNICK

Left: Creative Discovery Museum (Photo by Peter Aaron/Esto); Right: Fischl-Gornik Residence (Photo by Robert Polidori)


So, as a fitting (and hopefully fun!) milepost on our forty-year journey as a design studio, we thought it would be illuminating to explore the places in which we live, work, learn, and play by looking back on these four decades of storytelling and forward to the next chapters of design narratives. In the months to come, we invite you to travel back and forth through time with us on our blog, social media channels, through special events, and in our new book, “SKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership: Public/Private”, published by Pointed Leaf Press, which is due out this Fall. Our journey will begin in August by delving into the paradigms that have shaped our approach to residential architecture and revisiting some of the unique homes we have created.