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
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.
32BNYis collaborating with Spirit of Space is relaunching a website in a corner of the internet structured as a videopolemic to explore architectural discourse in a revolutionary way. The first video in the series is a tribute to Lebbeus Woods who passed away late last year. Woods was an aggressive philosophical thinker of architecture and space. He launched worldy ideas into his architecture through imaginative leaps - exploring politics, society, ethics and the human condition as it pertained to architectural space in the form of vivid and dynamic drawings. His work has inspired his contemporaries to think outside of the physical space of architecture. Steven Holl and Sanford Kwinter discuss some of his ideas and philosophies through his quotes and inspirations. The video serves as a reminder, and to some a guide, as to how to build upon the philosophy of architecture beyond the physical.
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.
Join the authors and editors of Lars Müller Publishers for a rare book signing opportunity with architects Wang Shu, Sou Fujimoto, and Steven Hollon August 28th at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale! This event will kick off the exhibition Lars Müller Publishers – Book Fever, which will feature sixty publications – new releases, bestsellers, milestones from the past, and rare treasures – for the public to explore.
Founded thirty years ago, Lars Müller Publishers’ carefully edited and designed publications on architecture, design, and contemporary art has lead them to become a renowned international publisher. One milestone you may remember was their release of Peter Zumthor’s Works (1998), which was the first survey of the oeuvre of the architect now known worldwide that set new standards for the monograph as a book genre.
Continue after the break for more details on the book signing and exhibition.
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.”
We are primarily biological beings whose senses and neural systems have developed over millions of years. And, although we now spend over ninety percent of our lives inside buildings, we understand very little about how the built environment shapes our thoughts, emotions and well-being. Breakthroughs in neuroscience help us to understand the many ways our buildings determine our interactions with the world around us. This expanded understanding can help us design in a way that supports our minds, our bodies and our social and cultural evolution.
The symposium, Minding Design: Neuroscience, Design Education, and the Imagination, a collaborative effort between the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, brings together renowned architects Juhani Pallasmaa and Steven Holl with scientists Iain McGilchrist and Michael Arbib to explore the implications of these advances on the education of those who design our built world.
AIA President Jeff Potter welcomed everyone this morning by restating his promise that the 2012 convention would inspire all who attend. With a consistent theme focusing on the architects commitment to service, President Potter welcomed Shaun Donovan – the 15th United States Secretary for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – as today’s keynote speaker. However, before Secretary Donovan took the stage, the 2012 AIA Vice President and 2013 President-elect Mickey Jacob invited the crowd to come, stay and explore the mile-high city of Denver for the 2013 National Convention.
Last week, we received copies of two of Steven Holl’s newest publications, Scale and Color Light Time. Published by Lars Müller, the books examine Holl’s preoccupation with light and color as ways to inform the shaping of space. Holl’s architecture has consistently defined itself with formal gestures grounded in light and meaningful applications of textures and colors. While accurate to associate Holl with water color, the books shows the range such a medium has had over Holl’s career, as it has afforded the flexibility to serve as both an exploratory and explanatory tool.
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”.
A few months ago I had the chance to meet Steven Holl, whose work I admire. I think that he has been able to innovate and challenge programs as we used to know them, and experiment with materials and structures, while sticking to what really matters in architecture: space, context and light.
The emergence of China on the global economic stage has been discussed at nauseum in myriad publications. But this emergence has had an impact on the world of architecture, providing a testing ground where architects can experiment with new ideas about sustainability and urban growth. These new ideas have been realized in recently completed structures, and more are just beginning construction or have been proposed for the future. More on these new buildings after the break.
This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to Beijing. Beijing has a range of architectural styles, but the three most prevalent are the traditional imperial style (the Forbidden City), the “Sino-Sov” style (boxy structures built between the 1950s and 70s), and lastly the explosion of a modern corporate style that is punctuated with Starchitect buildings like OMA’s CCTV TV Station HQ. We put together a list of 12 modern/contemporary buildings that we feel provides a good starting point. It is far from complete. There are dozens of other great buildings that are not our list, and we are looking to add to the list in the near future. Please add your favorites in the comment section below so we can add them on the second go around. Again thank you to all our readers who sent in their suggestions and photographs. The city guides would not be possible without your help.
This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to Amsterdam. With its numerous canals, Renaissance architecture, and bike friendly culture, it is hard not to fall in love with Amsterdam. Also, if you love modern or contemporary architecture one could hardly argue against making this city the first stop on a tour of Europe. Our list of 24 buildings hardly does justice to this amazing city, but it will certainly give those less familiar with the city a starting point. We will be adding to our list in the near future, as we didn’t come close to incorporating all our readers’ suggestions. In the meantime add more of your favorites to the comment section below.