Growing up near the rums of ancient Greece “tends to influence your taste buds;’ says Solomon Asser, the founder of Teeny Group, a Chelsea-based design build firm with a diverse portfolio of projects in the city, the Tri-State area and abroad. Teeny has been behind projects from the Eurobank in Athens to high-end residences on Park Avenue and store- fronts on Madison, from a summer home in Connecticut to a car dealer- ship in New Jersey, always seeking to find what Asser calls “beautiful solutions” to every design and construction problem, large or small. Ancient Athens is far from Asser’s only aesthetic influence. Before establishing his company in 1990, he studied architecture in Paris, France, then urban planning and architecture at Columbia University. “New York has the beauty of both inconsistency a n d consistency;’ Asser says. “But really, the beauty of New York is the people.” Out of this belief system comes a highly personal approach to each of Teeny’s projects.
“We believe in the character and personality of each individual;’ Asser continues. “And we try to reflect that personality in the spaces that we design. Some clients are more adventurous than others, naturally. But long after we are gone, the client is still there in the space, so it has to suit them. Whether the design is adventurous or not, we always use universal and timeless materials.”
Certain eternal design precepts inform all of Tecny’s work. “My approach to design is keeping checks and balances, creating balance and proportion with beauty and style;’ Asser explains. “Of course, solutions are not universal. Each project presents its own unique challenges.”
A stream of high-end residential projects is steady at this 12-person firm. When the economy is good, commercial work also flows in. But for Asser, even commercial work is highly individual. “For those projects, we strive to reflect the personality and philosophy of the business.” As important as the aesthetics are, Teeny places equal weight on functionality and practical concerns. “Sometimes the space is the main event;’ Asser explains. “And sometimes the space is the background for tranquility, reflection and meditation. Functionality is important. Beyond aesthetics, you need to make sure the light switches are in the right places:’
Indeed, no detail is overlooked. Pride is taken every step of the way, as well as in the end result. “We love what we do,” Asser says. “We love the challenge of finding beautiful and functional solutions:’