Architectural love-fest

The geometric stylings of June and Myron Goldfinger

“Myron and I believe that any place you live should not only provide shelter but resonate with your spirit and be a real home,” says Waccabuc’s June Goldfinger. “With that in mind, my husband, Myron, and I work seamlessly together to create strong geometric forms that showcase architecture as sculpture.”

June is a well-known custom interior designer and her husband, Myron, a celebrated contemporary architect with a career spanning four decades. The two complement each other beautifully, with Myron creating his breathtaking contemporary homes while June designs interiors that harmonize exquisitely with his “sculptures where people can live.”

Over the years, the pair has teamed up on magnificent contemporary homes with soaring spatial qualities that range from small weekend and vacation dwellings to large residences and two celebrated multi-villa resorts on the island of Anguilla in the British Virgin Islands.

Starting out

The Goldfingers live in the first contemporary home ever built in Waccabuc.

“I designed and built our 2,500-square-foot contemporary geometric home around 1970 at a time when contemporary architecture, especially the geometric style that I favor, was frowned upon in this area,” Myron says. “As a result, we built on 10 acres off of Mead Street, back from the road. Although the house won praise from my associates, I guess you could say we had a love-hate relationship with our neighbors, at least at first.”

The Waccabuc home is a house and studio connected by a bridge. Turning traditional design upside down, the kitchen, sitting room and a large greenhouse dining room are on the second floor instead of the first. The home is full of dramatic paintings, large photographs and dozens of folk sculptures of varying sizes and subjects, much of the art originating in the Southwest where the Goldfingers have a home in Santa Fe.

The couple later built a second harmonizing contemporary house right next door, home to their daughter.

The Goldfingers have been in harmony right from the start.

“We met through friends in 1965 when Myron was a young architect and I was finishing up my master’s in interior design,” June says. “I saw the amazing work he was doing and just went totally nuts. I said to myself, ‘This guy is just too good to be believed.’ We got married a year later and have been working together ever since.”

Geometric designs

When asked to describe her husband’s work, June says, “It is the exploration of geometry as expressed in architecture.”

Myron is intent on creating shelters that are not only lofty and inspirational, both inside and out, but are also based on function.

“I create spaces that people can call home and June makes sure that my goals are realized when she designs the interiors.”

Myron has obtained a good deal of his inspiration from studying indigenous dwellings in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. He is best known for his large sculptural homes in the United States and on the island of Anguilla, where he designed a vacation home for himself and his family in 1982.

Over the years he has built scores of vacation and year-round homes in Westchester and other parts of the New York metropolitan area, including the Hamptons. He always takes great care to make sure the homes are in synch with their sites, preserving trees and rock outcroppings where they exist.

“And my design philosophy is always to put the private spaces to the back,” he says.

Before the couple met, each had collected folk art and they now have hundreds of pieces by well-known Southwestern artists and others – everything from sculptures of people to pigs, cheetahs and puppets. Many of the pieces grace their Waccabuc home and inspire June’s interior designs for their clients.

On to Anguilla

The Goldfingers have always felt a strong attraction to the Caribbean, spending a portion of every winter there since 1970.

“We had friends with a yacht and would island hop,” June says.

Eventually, Myron decided he wanted his own home, on the tiny island of Anguilla.

“Anguilla is only 14 miles long,” June says. “We were able to get land there through a friend of a friend and built a vacation house on the then-totally undeveloped island in 1982. Eventually we built four more houses and the prime minister asked us to develop a full-scale resort. We decided to do it. I guess we were too stupid to know better. But against all odds we succeeded.”

Nothing succeeds like success and today the resort, known as Covecastles, is celebrated in travel and architectural circles for its striking contemporary architecture, refined luxury and attention to every detail of gracious living.

Covecastles has been voted “the most unique architecture in the Caribbean” by Caribbean Travel & Life magazine. The stark, white two-story villas facing a crescent curve of white sand beach and sparkling aquamarine water have hosted many luminaries, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep.

Following the success of Covecastles, the Goldfingers went on to complete a second project on Anguilla – Altamer, an enclave of private villas built again in a geometric style on a pristine and secluded beach.

At this point in their careers, the Goldfingers could sit back, relax on their laurels and reread the many articles and accolades in Architectural Digest and other publications. But they are not quite through yet.

“We still want to do more, creating soaring, light-filled geometric spaces that knock your socks off, but are also warm and welcoming homes,” June says. “It’s capturing volume and space. That’s what great architecture and design are all about and that’s what we want to continue to do.”

 

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