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Spotlight: Steven Holl

Spotlight: Steven Holl
Spotlight: Steven Holl, Linked Hybrid. Image © Iwan Baan
Linked Hybrid. Image © Iwan Baan

As the founder of Steven Holl Architects, Steven Holl (born December 9, 1947) 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.

Linked Hybrid. Image © Iwan Baan       Sliced Porosity Block. Image © Hufton+Crow Nanjing Sifang Art Museum. Image ©  SHU He Campbell Sports Center. Image © Iwan Baan       + 26

Steven Holl. Image © Mark Heithoff
Steven Holl. Image © Mark Heithoff

Holl was raised in Bremerton, Washington and studied at the University of Washington in Seattle, subsequently pursuing studies in architecture in Rome in 1970 and at the graduate level at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Immediately after completing his studies, Holl founded his practice in New York City in 1976. The firm now has offices in New York and Beijing under the direction of Steven Holl and Senior Partner Chris McVoy. Holl and the firm have been the subject of dozens of exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and London's Design Museum. Since 1981, Holl has been a tenured professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture and Planning.

Herning Center of the Arts. Image © Steen Gyldendal
Herning Center of the Arts. Image © Steen Gyldendal

Steven Holl Architects is known for its typological and phenomenological approaches to design, aiming to transcend the human experience through the firm's unique approach to location-driven design and programmatic specificity. On their design approach, the firm's mission states that "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," adding that "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."

Sliced Porosity Block. Image © Hufton+Crow
Sliced Porosity Block. Image © Hufton+Crow

Holl's works define the skylines of some of the world's most design-savvy cities—from Helsinki to Seoul—and have integrated into the urban fabric of many historic cities including Bogota, Berlin, and Amsterdam. Among Holl's most notable projects are the Simmons Hall at MIT, Linked Hybrid in Beijing, Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, and the Seona Reid Building at the Glasgow School of Art. His design aesthetic continues to evolve through a progressive interpretation of technology, light, and holism, cementing Holl's status as a global leader in architectural innovation.

Simmons Hall at MIT. Image © Andy Ryan - Steven Holl Architects
Simmons Hall at MIT. Image © Andy Ryan - Steven Holl Architects

The firm also has a number of significant projects still to come, including plans for the latest Maggie's Centre at St. Bart's Hospital in London, the Tianjin Ecocity Ecology and Planning Museums, and the expansion of The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Sarphatistraat Offices. Image © Paul Warchol
Sarphatistraat Offices. Image © Paul Warchol

See all of Steven Holl's work published on ArchDaily via the thumbnails below, and more coverage of Holl below those:

Linked Hybrid. Image © Iwan Baan       Daeyang Gallery and House. Image © Iwan Baan       Sliced Porosity Block. Image © Hufton+Crow The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Image © Andy Ryan Museum of Ocean and Surf. Image © Iwan Baan       Knut Hamsun Center. Image © Steven Holl Architects Nanjing Sifang Art Museum. Image ©  SHU He Sarphatistraat Offices. Image © Paul Warchol Herning Center of the Arts. Image © Steen Gyldendal College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, UMINN. Image © Paul Warchol T Space. Image © Susan Wides Chapel of St. Ignatius. Image © Paul Warchol Photography Simmons Hall at MIT. Image © Andy Ryan - Steven Holl Architects Seona Reid Building. Image © Iwan Baan       New Queens Library at Hunters Point. Image © Andy Ryan Campbell Sports Center. Image © Iwan Baan       Sliced Porosity Block. Image © Hufton+Crow Linked Hybrid. Image © Iwan Baan       Frederic Malle. Image © Susan Wides Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Image © Petri Virtanen Visual Arts Building at the University of Iowa. Image © Iwan Baan       Ex of In House. Image © Paul Warchol Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Image © Petri Virtanen Lewis Arts Complex. Image © Paul Warchol + 26

AD Interviews: Steven Holl

Steven Holl Named 2014 Praemium Imperiale Laureate

Steven Holl Wins 2016 Daylight Award in Architecture

Video: Steven Holl Discusses Beijing's Linked Hybrid, 7 Years After Completion

Two Short Films Capture the Essence of Steven Holl Architects' Sliced Porosity Block

Elia Zenghelis and Steven Holl Share Lessons Learned from a Life in Architecture

Steven Holl on Combining Heritage and Modern Healthcare Design at His Maggie's Centre Barts

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

Video: Steven Holl and Jeffrey Kipnis in Conversation

Video: Inside Steven Holl's Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art

Watch Steven Holl Take You on A Tour of the Recently Completed 'Ex of IN' House

Steven Holl's University of Iowa Visual Arts Building Through the Lens of Aaron Dougherty

Take a Tour of the Recently Completed Visual Arts Building at University of Iowa with Steven Holl

Reviewing 'Urban Hopes': A Look at Steven Holl's Latest in China

VIDEO: Steven Holl on the Sifang Art Museum

Video: A Conversation with Steven Holl inside the Daeyang Gallery & House

Video: Steven Holl on Columbia University's Campbell Sports Center

Steven Holl and Jessica Lang's "Tesseracts of Time" Explores the Relationship Between Architecture and Dance

Steven Holl: "Architecture Needs to be Rekindled with the Other Arts"

About this author
Cite: Finn MacLeod. "Spotlight: Steven Holl" 09 Dec 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/575852/spotlight-steven-holl/> ISSN 0719-8884
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Linked Hybrid. Image © Iwan Baan

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