Steven Holl Named 2014 Praemium Imperiale Laureate

The Japan Art Association (JAA) has named American architect Steven Holl as the 2014 Praemium Imperiale Laureate for Architecture. Holl will be honored at a ceremony in Tokyo on October 15th. The jury's citation states that Holl's "works are internationally highly regarded, primarily as a result of his philosophy regarding the unification of the “experience” of space, as depicted by color and light, with the history and culture of each site of construction."

Since its inauguration in 1989, the annual global arts award has recognised "outstanding contributions to the development, promotion and progress of the arts" in the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, music and theater/film. Only a small handful of architects have received this award, including James Stirling, Tadao Ando, Alvaro Siza, Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel, Toyo Ito, Zaha Hadid, Peter Zumthor, David Chipperfield, and Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron.

The 2014 Praemium Imperiale Laureates include:

  • Painting: Martial Raysse (France)
  • Sculpture: Giuseppe Penone (Italy)
  • Architecture: Steven Holl (USA)
  • Music: Arvo Pärt (Estonia)
  • Theatre/Film: Athol Fugard (South Africa)

"I'm doubly grateful for this award," said Steven Holl, "because architecture is part of painting, sculpture, and music, and with this award, the JAA recognizes all of the arts. Second, because my first chances as an architect and my first publication invitations came from Japan, and my first substantial construction was in Fukuoka, Japan in 1989, so I'm very grateful to come back to Japan for this important award."

Steven Holl leads Steven Holl Architects with partners Chris McVoy and Noah Yaffe. According to the practice, "with each project the firm explores new ways to integrate an organizing idea with the programmatic and functional essence of a building. Rather than imposing a style upon different sites and climates, or pursued irrespective of program, the unique character of a program and a site becomes the starting point for an architectural idea."

"While anchoring each work in its specific site and circumstance, the practice endeavors to obtain a deeper beginning in the experience of time, space, light and materials. The phenomena of the space of a room, the sunlight entering through a window, and the color and reflection of materials on a wall and floor all have integral relationships. The materials of architecture communicate through resonance and dissonance, just as instruments in musical composition, producing thought and sense-provoking qualities in the experience of a place."

References: Japan Art Association

And don't miss Steven Holl's projects that have been featured on ArchDaily!

About this author
Cite: James Taylor-Foster. "Steven Holl Named 2014 Praemium Imperiale Laureate" 16 Jul 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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