Steven Holl Architects has shared with us an impressive gallery of images of their recent project, Nanjing’s Sifang Art Museum. Rising above the lush landscape of the Pearl Spring, the new museum was designed as a physical manifestation of the parallel perspective, a technique prevalent in early Chinese paintings. From a subtly distorted courtyard with no vanishing points to an upper level gallery with calculated views and pristine light, the experience through the Sifang Art Museum is unlike any other.
Steven Holl has, again, teamed up with Spirit of Space to produce two short films on the recently completed Sifang Art Museum. In the first video (above) Holl explains the project’s inspiration - the mysteries of parallel perspective seen in early Chinese paintings - and how the design subtly distorts any concept of a vanishing point at the ground level yet contrasts this notion in the upper galleries by framing the distant view of Nanjing. In the second video (after the break), Spirit of Space allows you to experience this space by revealing it from all perspectives and scales.
In this article originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Urban Hopes, Urban Dreams", Samuel Medina reviews a new book on the work of Steven Holl in China. Focusing on five major projects, the book places Holl's work in the wider context of his urbanistic influences - including ideas from his own early paper architecture that are just now resurfacing.
Steven Holl is the rare architect whose concepts are equally known as his buildings. Chalk that up to Holl’s prolific output, in both buildings and monographs, and his knack for branding his ideas. Urban Hopes: Made in China (Lars Müller, 2014), a condensed reader on Holl's latest work in China, is the latest in a stream of small books that have continually repackaged the architect's growing body of work.
Anchoring and Intertwining appeared in 1996 and expounded on architectural themes and spatial notions only partially evinced by his work up until that time. In both, the buildings were few and far between, scattered between pages imprinted with “paper architecture,” the primary outlet for Holl’s creative energies in the prior decades since his move to New York in 1976. These and more titles were followed up by Parallax in 2000, a blend of philosophical, scientific, and poetic references that invest the architecture with the aura of the Gesamtkunstwerk. Holl’s idea of “porosity” made its debut here, if prematurely, where it was applied rather literally to Simmons Hall at MIT and its sponge-like facade. It wasn’t until a few years later, when the architect first got his feet wet in China, that the concept would be baptised as a core tenet of 21st-century urban design. 2009’s Urbanisms advances as much, while further recapitulating the big ideas of the previous book installments.
Read on after the break for the review of Urban Hopes
To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we've rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: glass. Check out the projects after the break...
The MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in Los Angeles presents City in a City: a Decade of Urban Thinking by Steven Holl Architects. The exhibition opens with a reception and panel discussion on Wednesday, January 29, and Steven Holl will give a public lecture on Thursday evening, January 30. The exhibition runs through March 9, 2014.
This new exhibition of the work of Steven Holl Architects presents six urban projects in China, designed with particular focus on shaping public space, natural green strategies, hybrid programs, structure and light. Included are three built works: Linked Hybrid in Beijing, Vanke Center/Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, and Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, as well as three yet to be built works: Porosity Plan in Dongguan, Eco-City in Tianjin, and the Qingdao Culture and Art Center. Concept watercolors of each building will be on view along with project models and construction documents. Also featured are short videos of the built works. The exhibition is arranged chronologically from 2002-2013 through the rooms of the Schindler House, making physical the journey through a decade of thinking.
Legendary American architect Steven Holl has collaborated again with Spirit of Space to produce two short videos on the recently completed Campbell Sports Center in New York City. While always compelling to hear an architect discuss a project, these videos integrate the architect's narration with different dynamic shots of the building's detail and context, thus truly immersing the viewer in the project.
The first video (above) features Steven Holl and senior partner Chris McVoy explaining the project's inspiration, design concept and program; simultaneously, the filmmakers take us into the space and show how the new athletic facility is being used by the student athletes. The second, shorter, video (after the break) shows the building in the city, revealing the fascinatingly complex relationship between the passing subway cars, the field hockey players, the movement of shadows and the building itself.
Following a brutal 15-year civil war that tore the city apart, Beirut has recovered remarkably; it was voted the number one destination to visit by the New York Times in 2009, and, more recently, received a similar title by Frommer's. The city is in the second phase of one of the biggest urban reconstruction projects in the world, run by Solidere, which has brought architects like Steven Holl, Herzog & DeMeuron, Zaha Hadid, Vincent James, and Rafael Moneo to the local scene. In less internationalized parts of the city sit the landmarks of the 1960s and 1970s, Beirut's pre-war glory days, including buildings by names such as Alvar Aalto, Victor Gruen, and the Swiss Addor & Julliard. With a city growing as fast as Beirut it is impossible to have a final city guide, so we look forward to hearing your suggestions and building on this over the years.
Photos and a map of Beirut's most exciting buildings after the break...
Designed as an experiment on “the architectonics of music,” the basic geometry of the Daeyang Gallery and House was inspired by Istvan Anhalt’s 1967 Symphony of Modules - a uniquely transcribed sheet of music found in John Cage’s contemporary music compendium, Notations. Reminiscent of the “blocky and shard-like shapes” of Anhalt’s sketch, Holl’s design features three copper-clad pavilions punctured by a symphony of carefully placed, rectangular skylights that animate the interior with “bars of light”. As Kennicott describes, Holl uses music as a “powerful metaphor for the dynamic unfolding of experience” (captured in this film by Spirit of Space).
Read Kennicott’sMusic Holl: A Copper Clad Pavilion in its entirety here on Dwell. Continue after the break to compare Steven Holl's sketch above with Anhalt’s Symphony of Modules.
As part of INTERNI’s Hybrid Architecture Exhibition event, Steven Holl Architects will be opening their 'INVERSION' installation tomorrow, April 9th, in Milan. In addition, Steven Holl will deliver a lecture in the Aula Magna of the Università degli Studi di Milano at 10am. Shown in the Cortile 700 of the Università degli Studi di Milano, the installation features six void-cut, 21 million year old limestone blocks, which frame a sheet of water. The process, beginning with a 5”x7” watercolor sketch in New York City, which is transformed into a 3D file and then sent to Lecce, required no working drawings. More information on their installation after the break.
Steven Holl Architects have been selected to design a new, 60,000 square foot addition to the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. The $100 million project, which will be lead by Steven Holl and senior partner Chris McVoy, is envisioned as three connected pavilions clad in translucent Okalux, glass, and Carrara marble, the material used on the original 1970s building.
Located mostly below grade on the south side of the existing facility, the protruding structures will be embedded within a lush landscape of public gardens. To the west, one pavilion will extend over the Potomac River, offering an outdoor stage at the water’s edge. The expansion will compliment the existing performance center with new classrooms, rehearsal and multipurpose rooms, along with lecture and office space. Both the new and the old will be directly connected underground and through the main plaza. A formal design will be refined and announced in the coming months.
More images and information on the Kennedy Center expansion after the break.
With much awaited anticipation, Steven Holl‘s Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, China has just been completed. Forming giant public plazas with a mix of various functions, the group of five towers is intended to be seen as more of a public area despite its towering design as already witnessed in the site. Its sun sliced geometry results from required minimum daylight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric prescribed by code and calculated by the precise geometry of sun angles. The large public space framed by the block is formed into three valleys inspired by a poem of Du Fu (713-770). In some of the porous openings chunks of different buildings are inserted.
We have already brought you images of the project as it was under way, but the latest images from Hufton + Crow truly capture this inviting public realm in the heart of this metropolis like no one else!
Check out all the latest images of Steven Holl’s Sliced Porosity Block after the break.
Four years after breaking ground, Steven Holl Architects’ have completed the Sliced Porosity Block in the heart of Chengdu, China. Located at the intersection of the first Ring Road and Ren Ming Nam Road, visitors are able to access the three million square foot complex without using private transport means as it is directly connected to Chengdu’s public transportation system. Stimulating a micro urbanism, the five towers offer offices, serviced apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, and restaurants. Rather than being designed as object-icon skyscrapers, the Sliced Porosity Block identifies itself as a metropolitan public space with large plazas and a hybrid of different functions.
More on Steven Holl’s Sliced Porosity Block after the break.
Steven Holl Architects just celebrated the pre-opening of the Sliced Porosity Block-CapitaLand Raffles City in Chengdu, China with a visit of the Prime Minister of Singapore. Creating a metropolitan public space instead of object-icon skyscrapers, this three million sq ft. project takes its shape from its distribution of natural light. The required minimum sunlight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric prescribe precise geometric angles that slice the exoskeletal concrete frame of the structure. The full expected completion is set for this fall. More images and architects’ description after the break.
This year, the American Institute of Architects conferred its highest honor – the AIA Gold Medal – upon Steven Holl. I had the opportunity to talk with Steven about his sources of inspiration, a mid-career enlightenment, and his recent recognition as one of the most celebrated “American” architects.
Andrew Caruso: Balancing your practice with teaching and art is clearly a part of the designer we know you to be. How do these explorations shape your design point of view?
Steven Holl: Every project is unique: a site and a circumstance, a culture, a climate, a program. All of these forces are unique and you need a concept to hold the manifold pieces together, an idea that makes the project significant in its place and for its purpose. That is always the way I begin projects.
Created by the architectural filmmakers from Spirit of Space, the first video takes you on a tour through the “miniature utopia” of the Daeyang Gallery & House. Although the notion of music plays as an underlining theme throughout the design, Holl encourages visitors to focus on the feelings that arise as the body moves through the space. He believes that “architecture can change the way you feel, like music… it can bring you into another world.”