Rising from the reclaimed salt pan and polluted tide flats of Bohai Bay, China, a new city designed for 350,000 inhabitants is being constructed from scratch. The ambitious project is being realized as a collaboration between the governments of Singapore and China with an overarching goal of becoming a poster-city for state-of-the-art sustainable aspects.
With nearly a third of this new “Eco-City” of Tianjin built and substantial completion projected for 2020, the internationally renowned practice Steven Holl Architects has been commissioned to design the first two buildings in the city’s cultural district: the Tianjin Ecocity Ecology and Planning Museums. Like the Chinese “Bau Gua” or “Yin Yang,” these forms are in reverse relations, as the Ecology Museum is the “additive” complement to the “subtractive” space of the Planning Museum.
Learn more about Holl’s design after the break.
Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Location: 218th Street, New York
Architect In Charge: Steven Holl, Chris McVoy
Design Team: Marcus Carter, Christiane Deptolla, Peter Englaender, Runar Halldorsson, Jackie Luk, Filipe Taboada, Dimitra Tsachrelia, Ebbie Wisecarver
Associate In Charge: Olaf Schmidt
Area: 4,459 sqm
Photographs: Chris McVoy, Andy Ryan
Almost two years ago, on November 13th 2010, I had the chance to attend to a very special seminar to celebrate the 80th birthday of Kenneth Frampton at Columbia’s GSAPP. During that intense day, five north american practices presented their work followed by an interesting debate: Rick Joy Architects, Stanley Saitowitz / Natoma Architects, Patkau Architects, Steven Holl, and Shim Sutcliffe Architects.
For the 13th Venice Biennale, Kenneth Frampton was invited to have his exhibit at the Arsenale, where the works of these five practices was presented on a series of videos, on a simple installation designed by Steven Holl.
While we don’t have the videos shown during the Biennale, we present you the full video of the seminar (almost 6 hours), made available online by the GSAPP.
More information about the “Five North American Architects as a Common Ground” videos shown at the Biennale:
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.”
As we announced earlier, Steven Holl Architects has been selected to design the Maggie’s Center at St. Bartholomew’s (Barts) Hospital in London. Situated at the periphery of the square, Maggie’s Barts will replace an existing 1960s block that was once used for offices. An average of 3,100 new cancer patients is expected to use the facility each year.
Steven Holl said: “It is a great honor to design a Maggie’s Centre and a very special challenge to be given such an important central site in London. The hospital has been at the forefront of medical understanding for centuries. We are inspired by the deep history of the area, and particularly the nearby St. Bartholomew the Great church which has been in continuous use with marvelous music since 1143. Our proposal is like a vessel within a vessel within a vessel. In the spirit of music, architecture can be a vessel of transcendence.”
Continue after the break to learn more.
Steven Holl and Norman Foster have been chosen to design the next two Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centers in the United Kingdom. As reported by bdonline, Foster will design in his hometown of south Manchester at the Christie hospital, while Holl will design at the St. Bartholomew’s (Barts) hospital in London. This will be Holl’s second UK project, following the Glasgow School of Art.
Continue reading for more information.
Recently, we visited the Meulensteen gallery to hear an update on Steven Holl’s latest project in Virginia - the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. Slated for completion in 2015, the project was presented in a series of Holl’s trademark watercolors and models, complete with a slideshow given by project architect Dimitra Tsachrelia who previously worked on the Glasgow School of Art for the firm. As we shared earlier, the project’s formal gestures are a reaction to its site context along the busy intersection of Richmond at Broad and Belvidere, with the intention to create an open gateway with a building that forks in the X-Y direction to illustrate the “non-linear” path of art, and torques in the Z direction to shape a dynamic volume of circulation. Although the weather was quite unforgiving, those who packed into the gallery enjoyed Tsachrelia’s friendly demeanor as she walked us through the process and progress of the project.
More about the event after the break.
Steven Holl Architects have just unveiled Virginia Commonwealth University’s new Institute for Contemporary Art. With an inviting sense of openness, the building will form a gateway into the University, linking the city of Richmond to the campus. A dynamic architectural promenade will connect the building’s most important spaces, engaging visitors in a variety of changing perspectives. Flexible spaces throughout the building will be capable of accommodating a vast assortment of exhibitions and performances.
Continue after the break for more images and the architect’s project description.
Steven Holl Architects invites you to join them in the unveiling exhibition of their Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. The event will take place at the Meulensteen gallery in New York on April 26 from 6-8pm. The 32,000 square-foot building will provide gallery spaces for traveling and school exhibits, classrooms, offices, art storage spaces and an auditorium, and accommodate a sculpture garden and a café. Joseph H. Seipel, Dean of the VCU School of the Arts, exclaimed, ”We are honored to have Steven Holl, internationally recognized as one the most inspired and significant architects of our time.”
After Mayor Bloomberg, Cornell President Skorton and Technion President Lavie announced Cornell’s victory over Stanford to build an eleven acre state-of-the-art tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City, the team has now tackled their next step in choosing six high-profile architecture firms competing to design the schools first academic facility.
Selected from over more than 40 firms from the U.S. and abroad, the finalists include Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Morphosis Architects, Steven Holl Architects and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Continue reading for more information.
Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the leading cultural institution of the region, has recently selected Steven Holl Architects to design a new museum building to support its collections, exhibitions, and various educational programs. After a comprehensive international competition, MFAH asked Steven Holl, Snøhetta, and Morphosis to develop site-specific concepts for the planned expansion. The jury unanimously chose Holl as his strong portfolio of built museums, such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the recently finished Cité de l’Océan et du Surf, display a sense of elegance and clarity much desired by the MFAH.
More about the museum after the break.
The Campbell Sports Center at Columbia University celebrated its topping out last Wednesday. Steven Holl Architects designed the “inviting new gateway” for the Baker Athletics Complex – the primary athletics facility for the University’s outdoor sports program. With the structural frame place, the large interior space and amazing views of the city are already able to be experienced. Construction is two weeks ahead of schedule and the athletic complex is planned to open this fall. Continue reading for more images and information.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Board of Directors has awarded Steven Holl, FAIA with the annual AIA Gold Medal. The Gold Medal represents the highest award an architect may receive, honoring their “humanist approach to formal experimentation.” The world renowned architect and Columbia University professor continues to inspire and influence the practice and theory of architecture.
In a recommendation letter, Harry Cobb, FAIA, of Pei Cobb Freed stated, “What, in my view, especially commends him as a candidate for the Gold Medal is his brilliantly demonstrated capacity to join his refined design sensibility to a rigorously exploratory theoretical project.”
The AIA highlighted two of Holl’s projects – Linked Hybrid in Beijing and Vanke Center in Shenzhen – stating they are “emblematic of his approach to architecture and his innovative method of design inquiry.”
“I am grateful, I am still beginning and I consider this award shared with all my collaborators. I feel this award is a positive advocacy to make theoretical explorations and experimental works. I was on the way to my final review at Columbia University when I received the call from Washington D.C. and felt it connected to my teaching and efforts toward education. I remember John Hejduk’s statement that teaching is a social contract, and I remain committed to teaching.”
- Steven Holl, FAIA
The award will be presented at the AIA Convention in Washington D.C. in May, 2012.
You can watch our interview with Steven Holl and see his projects here.
Construction of Steven Holl Architects’ Sliced Porosity Block is making progress in Chengdu, China. The large hybrid complex topped out at a 123 meters in September and is scheduled for completion in 2012. The five towers house offices, serviced apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, and restaurants. The 105,000 square foot site will stimulate a micro-urbanism and offer generous amounts of public open space.