Bertrand Goldberg

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About Bertrand Goldberg

Bertrand Goldberg was an American architect best known for the Marina City complex in Chicago, Illinois, the tallest residential concrete building in the world at the time of completion.

Bertrand Goldberg was known for innovative structural solutions to complex problems, particularly for residential, institutional, and industrial design projects. One of Goldberg’s first commissions, in 1938, was for the North Pole chain of ice cream shops. His ingenious design allowed the small shops to be disassembled, transported, and reassembled with little effort. Its flat roof was supported by tension wires from a single, illuminated column rising up through the shop’s center; glass windows and a door formed a box below the roof.

After the success of Marina City, Bertrand Goldberg received many more large commissions for hospitals, schools, and other public institutional buildings, such as Prentice Women’s Hospital for Northwestern University, science and medical complexes for SUNY Stony Brook, Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as River City and the Hilliard Homes public housing complex in Chicago.

During his career, Bertrand Goldberg designed a rear-engine automobile, canvas houses, unique furniture, prefabricated houses, and mobile vaccine laboratories for the United States government. He collaborated on some projects with his friend and fellow ‘design scientist’ R. Buckminster Fuller, as well as other modernists.

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