As the founder of Steven Holl Architects, Steven Holl is recognized as one of the world's leading architects, having received prestigious awards for his contributions to design over the course of nearly forty years in practice, including the prestigious Alvar Aalto Medal in 1998, the AIA Gold Medal in in 2012, and the 2014 Praemium Imperiale. In 1991, Time Magazine named Holl America's Best Architect. He is revered for his ability to harness light to create structures with remarkable sensitivity to their locations, while his written works have been published in many preeminent volumes, sometimes collaborating with world-renowned architectural thinkers such as Juhani Pallasmaa and Alberto Pérez-Gómez.
This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Q&A: Steven Holl."
For twenty years, Maggie's Centres have been providing cancer treatment to patients within thoughtful, beautiful spaces designed by renowned architects like Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, and Zaha Hadid. Steven Holl's Maggie's Center Barts, located adjacent to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in central London, is slated to open at the end of this year. While the design has been somewhat controversial in the UK due to its contemporary nature, the cancer care facility incorporates innovative lighting, sustainable materials, and a compact structure in a way that is—according to the architect—entirely complementary to its historical neighbors. We spoke with the renowned architect to learn more about the project and what it has meant to him over the past four years.
Steven Holl and Jessica Lang’s “Tesseracts of Time” Explores the Relationship Between Architecture and Dance
“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”
This well-known quote, most often attributed to comedian Martin Mull, compares attempting to explain music’s complex auditory intricacies with words to trying to interpret architectural forms through the motion of the human body – the underlying implication, of course, that it’s fruitless.
But take a closer inspection of the analogy. Music and writing may be media for disparate senses, but, at their height, dance and architecture share a realm of space and light; both perform as formal exercises that relate to the human proportion of the body. Must dancing about architecture truly be an exercise in futility?
A year after premiering at the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, last week Steven Holl and dance choreographer Jessica Lang’s “Tesseracts of Time” made its New York debut at the City Center mainstage. The 21-minute performance, designed as a part of Holl’s ‘Explorations of IN’ project, explores the relationship between performance and environment through four phases, which the designers liken to the passing of the four seasons.
Steven Holl has been awarded the 2016 Daylight Award in Architecture, which honors architects “who have distinguished themselves by realizing architecture or creating urban environments that showcase a unique use of daylight, for the benefit of overall quality of life, its impact on human health, well-being and performance, and its value to society.”
Steven Holl Architects has been commissioned by Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for a new Visual Arts Building and Quad, promoting a future for the arts on the campus. Inspired by the trees that will surround the building, Holl calls the project a “pavilion on the park,” in a design compared to a kite in the trees. The project was announced by President Daniel R. Porterfield during F&M’s commencement on May 7, after Holl and Senior Partner Chris McVoy presented their concept to the College Board of Trustees two days prior.
Steven Holl Architects Wins Competition to Design Rubenstein Commons at Institute for Advanced Study
Steven Holl Architects has been selected as the winner of an invited competition to design the Rubenstein Commons at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) located in Princeton, New Jersey. The new Rubenstein Commons will be situated at the center of the campus and serve as a new forum for scholars to interact and share ideas. The IAS, which was home to where Albert Einstein worked for 22 years until his death in 1955, received the project funding from David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the Carlyle Group.
In a world of climate change, refugees, and displaced peoples in crisis, Pamphlet Architecture asks for visions on the concept of BUOYANCY AND LIFT (FLOATING CITIES). Proposed solutions will provide housing, clinics, and other community services to 1,500 - 2,000 inhabitants with incremental additions while incorporating innovative technologies.
CHAMBER is pleased to announce their first exhibition in 2016, Capsule #4: “Unpacking The Cube,” presenting works by LEONG LEONG, LEVENBETTS, and STEVEN HOLL ARCHITECTS. The exhibition will open Thursday, January 21st.
Andrew Zuckerman, curator of Collection #2 “Human | Nature” in collaboration with Chamber, approached three architecture studios, each at different points in their professional trajectories - LEONG LEONG, LEVENBETTS, and STEVEN HOLL ARCHITECTS - prompting the architects to reach into the conceptual roots of their practice and convey them via physical objects for the exhibition space.
As the first month of 2016 draws to a close, we decided to tap into our network and ask an esteemed group of architects, critics, theorists and educators to tell us what they are looking forward to this year in architecture.
What are you looking forward to in architecture this year?
Referencing architecture's intimate past with the arts, Steven Holl argues the importance of collaborating with other artists for the benefit of the profession alongside choreographer and dancer Jessica Lang. "If we don't intermix the arts and collaborate, we are going to close... The arts are going to fade out individually. We are stronger together."
Watch the Spirit of Space video above to learn more about Holl and Lang's collaboration - Dance with Architecture - that uses dance to explore the four types of architecture: "under the ground, in the ground, on the ground, and over the ground."
It is no secret that, in the last 10 years, a majority of the big budget construction projects have been centered in newly emerging world markets like China. But now, the markets may be turning. Steven Holl Architects is a strong example of this trend: with the groundbreaking of the Glassell School of Art in Houston on the 15th, the firm now has 8 projects under construction in the western world - 7 in the United States, and one in the United Kingdom. Owing to the steady strengthening of the US dollar over recent years, clients seem to be investing in high ticket architecture once again. After completing projects abroad such as the Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, and Nanjing’s Sifang Art Museum, Holl will now be working in cities like Richmond, Iowa City, New York and London.
Holl’s recent work also reflects a change in design scale. In projects such as the Linked Hybrid in Beijing and the Vanke Center/Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, design began at the urban level, resulting in inward-looking superstructures. In the firm’s return to the west, projects are usually designed as an object or extension of an existing environment, such as in their expansion project for the Kennedy Center. The reduced sense of scale is also evident in the square-footage in some of their recent designs, including a residence to be built at under 1000 square feet.
In the latest video on architecture and urbanism from 32BNY, Steven Holl and his associate Dimitra Tsachrelia sit down with Elia Zenghelis, a founding partner at OMA and former lecturer at the Architectural Association in London. After forty-five years in architecture, Zenghelis has come to a series of conclusions, including a long-standing belief that men obstruct the design potential of their female colleagues, creating an imbalance in the professional landscape. "Women are much better architects than men," proclaims Zenghelis, former professor to Steven Holl, Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid (as well as a former collaborator of the latter two). Sitting in Holl's New York office, Zenghelis argues that women have a certain intuition that proves essential to the creation of great design. "It's men that dominate the scene - something has to happen," he says.
Read on for more on the contents of the video.
Every year, the Architectural League of New York honors the rising stars of architecture with the Emerging Voices Award, a title offered only to the most promising professionals. Long known as a predictor of long-term career success, the award has been given to architects who have later become some of the best in the world, including Steven Holl, Toshiko Mori, and Tod Williams. For a recent article entitled 10 Emerging Voices Winners on the Program's Lasting Influence, Metropolis Magazine asked some of the award's most illustrious winners to discuss how their trajectories were changed by the award, and how they changed architecture.
Steven Holl Architects has broken ground on the “Ex of In House,” an experimental guest house and artist studio in Rhinebeck, New York. The house is part of the firms’ ongoing research project “Explorations of In,” which questions “current clichés of architectural language and commercial practice” and explores spatial language, energy, openness and public space.
How the Architectural League's "Emerging Voices" Award Predicted 30 Years of Architectural Development
For over 30 years, the Emerging Voices prize given by the Architectural League of New York has offered the architecture world a glimpse into the future, showcasing radical ideas from architects at a crucial stage in their career development. In this excerpt, the opening to her essay "Idea: Claiming Territories" in the newly-released book "Thirty Years of Emerging Voices: Idea, Form, Resonance," Ashley Schafer discusses how the prize has acted as a litmus test for architectural culture, with laureates often presaging trends and sometimes even singular projects years or decades before they occurred in the profession at large.
Sketch to Structure unfolds the architectural design process to show how buildings take shape. With sketches, plans, blueprints, renderings, and models from the Heinz Architectural Center collection, this exhibition reveals that architectural design, from initial concept to client presentation, isn’t straightforward.
In this installment of the Louisiana Channel, world-renowned architect Steven Holl discusses his philosophy on organic architecture and its ability to generate a specific experience. "I believe architecture is an art, that it changes peoples' lives, and I think that's what architecture has the potential to do," Holl remarks.
A legal challenge against Steven Holl's design for the new Maggie's Centre at St Bart's Hospital in London has been dropped, after Holl and Maggie's agreed to change the design. The challenge was brought by the Friends of the Great Hall, a group that has been campaigning against Holl's design and arguing that it would have a detrimental effect on the adjacent Great Hall designed by James Gibb in the 18th century.