Bertrand Goldberg received national recognition in the 1960s as a humanist architect and thinker who was deeply engaged with the challenges and opportunities facing the country. His concern with issues such as public education and health, pollution, poverty, and urban renewal grounded his writing during this period, during which he also began to develop a critical framework that looked to the humanism of Renaissance cities as an antidote to the alienating practices of modern urban planning. This sense of engagement led to his participation in the 1962 Aspen Design Conference on the environment, where he joined a large group of influential artists, researchers, and intellectuals to debate the future of American society and its physical impact on natural systems.

Goldberg explored an expanded range of architectural programs in the 1960s that included public housing, schools, and the first of many designs for hospitals and health-care facilities. For his 1966 Raymond Hilliard Center, Goldberg sought to endow subsidized housing for families and the elderly with opportunities for personal investment and community development. His new technique of concrete construction for the low-rise, organic structures of the Joseph Brenneman School and unrealized Menninger Foundation Clinic allowed him to advance innovative models for patient care and education outside of conventional institutional frameworks. Although Goldberg’s projects in this period were designed for many different sites and scales, they share a common vocabulary of sculptural form and goals of collective participation and civic responsibility.

Bertrand Goldberg. San Diego Theater, La Jolla, CA, Perspective, c. 1967–68. The Art Institute of Chicago, Archive of Bertrand Goldberg, gift of the Goldberg Family, RX23664/118.1.

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