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Steven Holl: The Latest Architecture and News

Color Light Time + Scale / Steven Holl

16:00 - 29 March, 2012

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.

More about the books after the break.

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

09:00 - 20 December, 2011

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. 

AD Interviews: Steven Holl

13:00 - 6 October, 2011

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.

China as Architectural Testing Ground

13:00 - 7 September, 2011
Photo by - Used under <a href=''>Creative Commons</a>
Photo by - Used under Creative Commons

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.

Architecture City Guide: Beijing

18:00 - 24 August, 2011
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / Sarmu. Used under <a href=''>Creative Commons</a>
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / Sarmu. Used under Creative Commons

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.

To check out other cities visit our world map or our Architecture City Guide page. The Architecture City Guide: Beijing list and corresponding map after the break.

Architecture City Guide: Amsterdam

10:20 - 3 August, 2011
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / llamazotti. Used under <a href=''>Creative Commons</a>
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / llamazotti. Used under Creative Commons

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.

The Architecture City Guide: Amsterdam list and corresponding map after the break.

This is Hybrid / a+t research group

13:00 - 22 July, 2011

Following years of research, a+t publishers presents the first theoretical-practical book on hybrid buildings. Taking its inspiration from the four issues of a+t magazine’s Hybrid series, the book takes a look at the theories and projects which have had the greatest historical importance. Steven Holl prefaces the book with an introduction where he foresees the path which hybrid typologies should take towards the creation of new urban spaces.

Update: Glasgow School of Art / Steven Holl

07:30 - 25 March, 2011
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

Plans for the new Glasgow School of Art building, designed by Steven Holl Architects in association with JM Architects, received approval from the Glasgow City Council’s planning committee this week. Site preparations are scheduled for this summer, and work on the new building will immediately follow with construction scheduled to take around two years. The five story building will reside directly opposite of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterful Glasgow School of Art building.

Debate Over the Design for the Glasgow School of Art by Steven Holl

08:30 - 14 March, 2011
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

Debate continues on the design for the Glasgow School of Art by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Glasgow based JM Architects. Last month William J.R. Curtis shared his critical thoughts on the new extension, referencing the diagrams by Holl as ‘cartoonlike’, the surface choices of glass ‘monotonous’, and the external volumes as ‘clumsy’. As we all know architecture is subjective and debate should be welcomed, hopefully resulting in a smart discussion focused on providing the best design solutions for a project. A critique of an extension to a building with such importance as Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art, a design that masterfully manipulates light into spaces and skillfully the nature of different materials, is expected. However, this review almost seemed personal and a bit uninformed. Curtis, during his critical rant even asks “where was the client during these intervening months?” referring to the initial announcement and presentation of Holl’s winning design and then later released drawings.

Continuing, “The unsatisfactory state of Holl’s proposal perhaps reveals what may happen when a star architect drops in from another planet and blinds a building committee with the “smoke and mirrors” of popularized phenomenology. Some good old Scottish common sense would have been in order to insist on greater rigor and a more appropriate response to the context.”

Holl took time to respond to Curtis’ article stating, “We welcome criticism as long as it’s based on an accurate understanding of our design. Unfortunately William Curtis’ article is not knowledgeable about our design,” and Holl also shares specifics about both the design material choices for the new extension (his full response following the break).

Hangzhou Normal University Cangqian Performing Arts Center, Art Museum and Arts Quadrangle / Steven Holl Architects

13:11 - 24 January, 2011

Steven Holl shared with us his winning entry for the Hangzhou Normal University Performing Arts Center, Art Museum and Art Quadrangle in Hangzhou, China. The pair of buildings, situated on either side of the canal, are the heart of the new campus. Holl’s concept early on was two balanced forms, one additive as seen in the design of the Performing Arts Center, and one subtractive displayed in the design of the Art Museum. This dialogue between these two buildings, the utilization of local materials, and the carbon neutral section of the new university provides for a special moment within the campus.

Follow the break for sketches and renderings of this project.

Architects: Steven Holl Architects Location: Hanzghou, China Design Architect: Steven Holl, Li Hu, Chris McVoy Project Architect: Garrick Ambrose, Yichen Lu, Roberto Bannura Project Team: Human Wu, Guanlan Cao, Francesco Bartolozzi, Michael Rusch, Johanna Muszbek, Maxim Kolbowski Frampton, Nathalie Frankowski, Scott Fredricks, Garrett Ricciardi, Jose Carlos Quelhas, Wenny Hsu Structural Engineer: China Academy of Building Research (CABR) Acoustics Consultant: Kirkegaard Associates Sustainability Consultant: Mathias Schuler (Transsolar)

2011 AIA Honor Award / Horizontal Skyscraper / Steven Holl Architects

09:30 - 12 January, 2011

There are some buildings that have the power to make one step back and simply enjoy being part of our profession. For us, Steven Holl’s Horizontal Skyscraper does just that. As we’ve been sharing with you, it is a project that gracefully hovers above the Shenzhen landscape, allowing both the ground and the elevated ground plane to be occupied. The project balances the built with the natural as reflecting pools and lush greenery are interspersed with small restaurants and cafes, and as the “sunken cubes” of the main wings of the center – glass volumes offering 360 degree views – strengthen the connection with the landscape.

The building has recently been awarded a 2011 AIA Institute Honor Award for its architectural creativity and contextual thoughtfulness.    The jury commented, “This project skips along from mound to mound and manipulates the landscape – it builds it up and shapes it into a powerful form above the land with inventive manipulation. The building is shading the landscape and letting it breath – integrated sustainability. A reinvented building type with the building floating over the landscape – dancing on the landscape.”

More information, with more photographs from Iwan Baan, after the break.

New Queens Library at Hunters Point / Steven Holl Architects

10:00 - 1 August, 2010

New York will be the recipient of another Steven Holl project – a new library at the Queens West Development at Hunters Point. Envisioned as a contemporary “urban forum”, the project will shape public space and create new connections across the Queens West Development, Hunter Points South, and the existing neighborhood of Hunters Point. Steven Holl states, “We are very pleased with this great commission for an addition to the growing community. We envision a building hovering and porous, open to the public park. A luminous form of opportunity for knowledge, standing on its own reflection in the east river.”

More about Holl’s new project after the break.

In Progress: Nanjing Museum of Art & Architecture / Steven Holl

21:00 - 23 July, 2010
Flickr © vbratone. Used under <a href=''>Creative Commons</a>
Flickr © vbratone. Used under Creative Commons

Special thanks to our reader, Vivian Bratone, for sharing some insight to Steven Holl’s newest museum project with us. Situated in Pearl Spring near Nanjing, China, the museum is only a part of the Chinese International Practical Exhibition of Architecture (CIPEA) complex. The CIPEA project is a complete collaboration of architects from across the world, from Italy to Japan, and Mexico to Croatia. Upon completion, the complex will include more than a dozen buildings that will house exhibits for arts and culture.

Horizontal Skyscraper / Steven Holl

12:00 - 25 June, 2010
© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Our friend and architecture photographer, Iwan Baan , just published on his website some of his recently shot images of Steven Holl’s Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, China . The project is a long mixed-use complex which includes office spaces, apartments, a hotel and even a public landscape. Baan’s photos illustrate Holl’s idea that the “building appears as if it were once floating on a higher sea that has now subsided; leaving the structure propped up high on eight legs.”

Complete photoset at Iwan’s website, more images and more about the project after the break.

Four “Tropical Skyscapers” Commissioned To Keep Shenzhen Stock Exchange HQ Nice and Shady

12:30 - 2 March, 2009

Steven Holl Architects‘ winning design from the “4 Tower in 1″ competition calls for a quartet of towers to be built around the brand new Shenzhen Stock Exchange and its surrounding plaza.