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Steven Holl Interview: Not a 'Signature Architect' / Andrew Caruso

Steven Holl © Mark Heithoff
Steven Holl © Mark Heithoff

National Building Museum and Metropolis Magazine contributor Andrew Caruso takes you “inside the design mind” of architect Steven Holl.  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.

Steven Holl reveals Design Concept for Maggie’s Barts

Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

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.

Foster and Holl selected for next Maggie’s Centers

Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

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.

Update: Institute for Contemporary Art / Steven Holl Architects

Institute for Contemporary Art / Steven Holl Architects. Photo by ArchDaily
Institute for Contemporary Art / Steven Holl Architects. Photo by ArchDaily

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. 

Unveiling Exhibition of VCU Institute for Contemporary Art / Steven Holl Architects

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.”

Cornell Reveals the Architects Competing to Design the First NYC Tech Campus Building

© Cornell University
© Cornell University

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.

Holl to design MFAH

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.

Cité de l'Océan et du Surf Wins Award in 2011 Annual Design Review / Steven Holl

In the beginning of December, we shared the news of Steven Holl‘s 2012 AIA Gold Medal award; a prestigious honor given to those who continually push the field forward with their “humanist approach to formal experimentation.”   A few short weeks later, Holl’s Cité de l’Océan et du Surf  (translated to Museum of Ocean and Surf) has received a 2011 Annual Design Review Award.  This new museum in Biarritz, France is a collaborative effort with Solange Fabião and has attracted international attention for its spatial duality of crafting an atmosphere “under the sky” and “under the sea”. More about the award after the break. 

In Progress: Sliced Porosity Block / Steven Holl Architects

© Steven Holl Architects
© Steven Holl Architects

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.

Auditorium Structure © Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects © Steven Holl Architects

Architects: Steven Holl Architects Location: Chengdu, China Project Area: 310,000 sqm Project Year: In Progress Under Construction Photographs: Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl Architects’ Sliced Porosity Block Tops Out

Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

The Sliced Porosity Block—the Raffles City development designed by Steven Holl Architects in Chengdu—celebrates its topping out at 123 meters. Located just south of the intersection of the First Ring Road and Ren Min Nan Road, the 3 million square feet mixed-use complex consists of five towers with offices, apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, and restaurants. More images and complete press release after the break.

Steven Holl Architects' Horizontal Skyscraper Wins American Architecture Award

Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl Architects recently received an American Architecture Award for 2011 for the Horizontal Skyscraper-Vanke Center in Shenzhen, China.The awards, administered annually by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Center for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies honor ‘new and cutting-edge design’ and aim to promote ‘the best of new architecture and urban design.’ More on the project after the break.