For Evan Goldenberg (B.Arch. ’84), being an architect is all about building relationships. With his specialty, it’s essential. Through his firm, Architectural Artistry, he specializes in private home renovation, and specifically in designing and building personal wine cellars. “I love my clients,” he says. “Eventually your client is your friend, and I think you end up with an exceptional project when you have a relationship like that.”
This niche of architecture is one that Goldenberg has inhabited for nearly three decades, creating private “wine environments” for clients ranging from amateur wine enthusiasts to professional collectors. Born and raised in Stamford, Conn., Goldenberg still calls the area home, and most of his work is centered in the tristate area. However, having bonded with many of his clients over the years, he is often asked to build wine cellars in their second and third homes, taking him on jobs all over the country.
“At the moment, my furthest project is in El Paso, Texas, and the closest is about a mile and a half from my house,” he says. Goldenberg has become known as the go-to architect for these specific projects among wine aficionados, and word of mouth has helped his business boom.
“Like everything else, the more experience you have, the more time you have to perfect and hone your skills,” he says. “I’m probably the only architect and designer of wine cellars who engineers his own refrigeration systems.” This specific skill allows his designs to be elegant and streamlined in a unique way.
Goldenberg wanted to be an architect since he was a teenager, and the years he spent getting his bachelor’s degree in architecture at New York Institute of Technology prepared him well for the realities of the work. “The professors were always trying to provide direction without directly pointing you there,” he says. “If you give someone an answer by asking them 10 other questions, that stimulates them to think of 10 more things they may have forgotten.”
He has carried this approach throughout his career. Goldenberg attributes his habit of examining a problem from multiple angles to preparing him for this unusual field of architecture—a field in which no two projects are ever the same. “Every home poses unique challenges,” he says. “Each one of my clients knows what they want. It’s my job to extract that from them, take the space that they give me, and deliver to them a breathtaking experience.”
Goldenberg says helping clients renovate their homes is very intimate. “They are allowing you into their heart and into their home. Their home means a lot to them. When they let me make changes to their home to affect how they live, that’s kind of special.”