Our very dear friend and colleague, Richard Bloch, an award-winning architect from New York City is currently missing in Japan. Following this morning’s magnitude 8.9 earthquake, his whereabouts are unknown. He was expected to return to New York tomorrow.
Richard, accompanied by his wife Hiroko, were in Japan for business and a family event. Anyone with information on their whereabouts should please contact us immediately.
A winner of the James Beard Award for, “Unique Dining Experience,” Richard Bloch, RA, AIA, NCARB, has established himself as a well-known restaurant architect and interior designer in a career spanning more than three decades.
In addition, he has a diverse background in areas such as town planning, contract interiors, cultural centers and residential work in the United States and internationally.
Richard was a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a city planner in Iran, and a design consultant for U.S. Government cultural centers in Japan, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium and Mexico. After receiving an architecture degree from Pratt Institute in New York, Bloch served as a Peace Corp volunteer working as a city planner in a number of small towns near Tehran.
While spending time in Japan, Bloch designed six cultural centers, during which time he invented a structural knuckle, a geometry system, earning him a 10-year, “Original Invention” patent in Japan.
Following Japan, he opened his first office in Washington, DC, in 1972 doing work for USIS/USIA and the Voice of America. He spent time in Japan, Europe and the Middle East again before permanently moving back to New York where he joined the firm Harper and George, later known as the George Studio.
Since establishing RBA in 1986, the firm has completed hundreds of commissions and his work has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines from around the world.
Hiroko spent five years at USIS /USIA as secretary to the Director of the Tokyo American Cultural Center and another year at the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC. Followed by 15 years as the first secretary to the president of the then newly formed US-Japan Foundation. Since joining RBA 8 years ago she has managed and administered the office. Hiroko’s Japanese/English translations of documents, technical queries and business communications have been vital to the work in Japan.
Hiroko is the office manager for husband Richard Bloch’s New York based architectural firm. They live nearby in the SoHo district of Manhattan.
Both are very much beloved by everyone here at The Epicurus Group. Our thoughts and prayers for their safety and safe return are with them.