Alex Nizhikhovskiy is one of The Turett Collaborative’s two newest partners, as announced earlier this year. Having spent nearly a decade as an integral part of the firm’s architecture team, his passion for New York’s community and its future has driven him to take the lead on numerous residential projects and build relationships with the city’s artisans and vendors.
Read more about Alex here, and scroll down for a Q&A with one of our newest partners!
Q: IN 5 WORDS OR LESS, WHY ARE YOU AN ARCHITECT?
A: “junction of the rational and the poetic” - not my words, but I couldn’t describe it better than the Pritzker Prize winning architect, Glenn Murcutt (more than 5 words, I know)
Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT ARCHITECTURE?
A: Pop culture really pushes this vision of the individual “genius” architect and it could not be further from the truth. As our name suggests, we recognize that it’s really a collaborative process. When you step back and review, it’s astonishing the number of people involved in the design of even the smallest, simplest project and the amount of diverse input that leads to the final product. Ultimately, that’s part of the fun of doing this kind of work - if it was about locking yourself away to produce “masterpieces” on your own, I don’t think it would be anywhere near as rewarding as it is when you engage with a large group of talented and interesting people to design something together.
Q: WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO AT WORK?
A: The variety of it all - rarely is one day like the last and you’re constantly shifting gears (and locations) between tasks and the people you’re working with. It keeps the work fresh and means that things never get boring. This is something that you grow into as you gain experience in the profession, so it’s not necessarily the case when you first start out, but over time you're mixing up your days between design work, site visits, meetings with clients, pitching new projects, reviewing contracts, meeting with local officials and community members, detailing and engineering coordination, and so on….sometimes all of the above within the same day!
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF THE DESIGN PROCESS?
A: The “discovering” of the project. I’m going to reference Murcutt again here (I’m a fan), when he talks about architecture as an act of discovery rather than creativity. That always resonated with me as implying that there are certain “truths” in what a design is “meant” to be and that our job is to uncover and unite those inherent qualities of a building or a space or site. It also speaks to the excitement of that process, of how a blank piece of paper begins to take shape into a project as you begin to understand it on an ever deeper level….something that’s true from the outset of schematic design all the way through construction.
Q: WHAT IS A PASSION YOU HAVE OUTSIDE OF DESIGN?
A: Alright, enough about architecture! This profession can be all-consuming at times, but a real passion of mine is the sport of hockey. I can wax poetic about it, but to cut to the chase, playing hockey is one of the few times I find myself able to really shut my brain off, remove any other distractions or stressors, and just focus on what’s happening immediately in front of me…it’s a great release. Wayne has suggested that I try meditation for a similar effect - definitely less contact involved!
(photo by Mary Dorn)