When Solomon Asser came to New York for graduate studies in urban planning and design at Columbia University, he was intrigued by America’s “opportunity of creation.”
He has lived and worked here ever since. But as much as America may intrigue him, Greece serves as his inspiration.
Tecny Landmark Corporation, Asser’s architecture and design firm in midtown Manhattan is involved in a broad spectrum of fields. The 12-person team, headed by Greek- born-and-raised Asser concentrates on residential interiors, external architecture, as well as office and retail space design.
“We don’t want to have a specialization and feel stuck with it,” Asser says. Nor does he like to stick to one place. He is currently working on a Ferrari/Mazerati car dealership in New Jersey, has designed a summer home on the Connecticut shore, as well as the Eurobank headquarters off Syntagma Square in Athens.
Asser says that he does not have a favorite among his family of completed projects, even though he seems to lean towards the glass and steel high-tech bank building in Greece. On the flip side, he recently got a thrill out of transforming a boring building on Park Avenue with a neoclassical facade.
Asser’s client are mostly what he terms “high-end residential,” many of whom work in the financial world. Diversity, he says, is the key.
“When you do things you never think what others will think about them, you just do what you feel. It’s all about sending a clear message to the people about what you are trying todo,” he says. And because that message is so much about what your client wants it to be, it also leads you to be diverse in your style. There are very few pieces that you can call a piece of art of your own,” he says.
While studying and working in Greece, Asser felt that the country lacked modern urban planning, and inspired by American cities, he looks forward to bringing technology and aesthetics to Athens.
“America has planned cities, and urban planning, by the way—the grid, the streets—was not an invention
of the American culture, it ail came from the ancient Greeks.” he says.