Steven Holl Architects (SHA) is a 50 person innovative architecture and urban design office working globally as one office from two locations; New York City and Beijing. Steven Holl leads the office with partners Chris McVoy (New York) and Li Hu (Beijing). Steven Holl Architects is internationally-honored with architecture's most prestigious awards, publications and exhibitions for excellence in design among which are two recent recognitions in the '10 Best Architectural Marvels' of Time Magazine's December 2007 issue: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, Missouri) was awarded first place, and the Linked Hybrid (Beijing, China) was voted as the third most promising project internationally for 2008. Steven Holl Architects has realized architectural works nationally and overseas, with extensive experience in the arts (including museum, gallery, and exhibition design), campus and educational facilities, and residential work. Other projects include retail design, office design, public utilities, and master planning.
With each project Steven Holl Architects 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, we endeavor 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. Architectural transformations of natural materials, such as glass, stone or wood, produce thought and sense-provoking qualities in the experience of a place. Following this approach Steven Holl Architects is recognized for the ability to shape space and light with great contextual sensitivity and to utilize the unique qualities of each project to create a concept-driven design.
Steven Holl Architects specializes in seamlessly integrating new projects into contexts with particular cultural and historic importance. Several of the projects involve renovation and expansion of historically important structures, including the Cranbrook Institute of Science (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA), the Sarphatistraat Offices (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), and the Sail Hybrid mixed-use project (Knokke-Heist, Belgium). In June 2007 the much celebrated addition to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri opened to the public. Referring to the building as breathtaking Nicolai Ourossoff wrote: "By subtly interweaving his building with the museum's historic fabric and the surrounding landscape, he has produced a work of haunting power. [..] It's an approach that should be studied by anyone who sets out to design a museum from this point forward". (New York Times, June 6th 2007). In the New Yorker Paul Goldberger stated: "The building is not just Holl's finest by far, but also one of the best of the last generation. [..] Holl has produced as striking and inventive a piece of architectural form [..] and yet it is a serene and exhilarating place in which to view art". (New Yorker, April 30th 2007)
Steven Holl Architects emphasizes sustainable building and site development as fundamental to innovative and imaginative design. Incorporating green roofs, double walls and advanced mechanical systems SHA constructed the New Residence at the Swiss Embassy (Washington. D.C) according to Swiss "Minergie Standards," a higher level than the US Council for Green Building's LEED standards for minimal energy consumption. The Lake Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park (South Central Connecticut) features the largest Green Roof in Connecticut (30,000 sf), zero off-site storm water discharge, expanded wetlands for biodiversity, and geothermal heating and cooling. The project was chosen as one of the Top Ten Green projects for 2007 by the American Institute of Architects' Committee on the Environment (AIA/COTE). Throughout that year the facility was viewed as an exemplar of the standards and goals for sustainable design and construction. In Beijing, the recently completed 2 million sq.f. Linked Hybrid complex is heated and cooled by a 660-well geothermal energy system, the largest residential geothermal system in China. The project employs green roofs and a separate grey water recycling system connected to all 750 condominiums which provides all landscape irrigation including a huge central water pond with natural reeds, water lilies and wildlife. The PBS sustainability documentary Design e2 recently featured the project to exemplify China's advanced application of green technology and Popular Science awarded the project with an Engineering Prize for the Largest Geothermal Housing Complex. Our design for the Vanke Center (Shenzhen, China) is a vision of tropical sustainability for the 21st century, and employs sustainable strategies such as photovoltaic panels and storm water recycling. Parallel to designing dense, sustainable urban architecture, Steven Holl Architects supports the preservation and restoration of landscape and wilderness as Lifetime Member of Sierra Club, Active Member of Scenic Hudson, Member of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and "Advocates for Wilderness"-Member of the Wilderness Society. In 1970 Steven Holl was one of three founding members of Environmental Works at the University of Washington.
Recently completed are the Knut Hamsun Center (Hamaroy, Norway), the Herning Museum of Contemporary Art (Herning, Denmark) and the Linked Hybrid mixed-use complex in Beijing, China. In June 2007 the Bloch Building addition to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri opened to the public. In September 2006 Steven Holl Architects opened the new School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa in Iowa City and The New Residence at the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C., and in September 2007 the NYU Department of Philosophy (New York City) opened its doors. In 2005, Steven Holl Architects completed Higgins Hall Center Section at Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, New York), the Loisium Wine Visitor Center, Hotel and Spa (Langenlois, Austria), the Lake Whitney Water Purification Plant (Hamden, Connecticut) and two private residences.
Steven Holl Architects has been recognized with architecture's most prestigious awards and prizes. Most recently, Steven Holl Architects' Linked Hybrid received the 2009 CTBUH Tall Buildings Award in Asia and Australia, and the AIA NY 2008 Honor Award. Steven Holl Architects was also awarded the AIA 2008 Institute Honor Award and a Leaf New Built Award 2007 for The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City). Among 2007 awards for the School of Art & Art History (University of Iowa, Iowa City) are the AIA 2007 Institute Honor Award, the AIA New York Chapter 2007 Merit Architecture Award, and a RIBA International Award. The New Residence at the Swiss Embassy (Washington, D.C) was awarded AIA New York Chapter 2007 Honor Architecture Award and the RIBA International Award.
Steven Holl is a tenured faculty member at Columbia University where he has taught since 1981. In July 2001 Time Magazine named Steven Holl as America's Best Architect, for 'buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye.' Awards include the first ever Arts Award of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards (2008), Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (2003), the Smithsonian Institute's Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture (2002), the French Grande Medaill d'Or (2001), the prestigious Alvar Aalto Medal (1998), the Arnold W. Brunner Prize in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the New York American Institute of Architects Medal of Honor (1997).
Steven Holl was born in 1947 in Bremerton, Washington. He graduated from the University of Washington and pursued architecture studies in Rome in 1970. In 1976 he joined the Architectural Association in London and established STEVEN HOLL ARCHITECTS in New York City. Considered one of America's most important architects, Steven Holl is recognized for his ability to blend space and light with great contextual sensitivity and to utilize the unique qualities of each project to create a concept-driven design. He specializes in seamlessly integrating new projects into contexts with particular cultural and historic importance.
Steven Holl has realized cultural, civic, academic and residential projects both in the United States and internationally. Notable work includes the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland (1998), Sarphatistraat Offices, Amsterdam (2000) and Chapel of St. Ignatius, Seattle, Washington (1997). Some of Steven Holl Architect's current work includes Vanke Center (Shenzhen, China), the Herning Center of the Arts (Herning, Denmark), the Nanjing Museum of Art and Architecture (Nanjing, China), the Sliced Porosity Block (Chengdu, China), and the Knut Hamsun Center (Hamaroy, Norway). In June 2007 the much celebrated addition to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri opened to the public. Referring to the building as breathtaking Nicolai Ourossoff wrote: "By subtly interweaving his building with the museum's historic fabric and the surrounding landscape, he has produced a work of haunting power. [..] It's an approach that should be studied by anyone who sets out to design a museum from this point forward". (New York Times, June 6th 2007). In the New Yorker Paul Goldberger stated: "The building is not just Holl's finest by far, but also one of the best of the last generation. [..] Holl has produced as striking and inventive a piece of architectural form [..] and yet it is a serene and exhilarating place in which to view art." (New Yorker, April 30th 2007)
Recently the office has won a number of international design competitions including the LM Harbor Gateway (Copenhagen, Denmark), the Herning Center of the Arts (Herning, Denmark), Cité de l'Océan et du Surf (Biarritz, France), Sail Hybrid (Knokke-Heist, Belgium), Meander (Helsinki, Finland) and Vanke Center (Shenzhen, China).
Steven Holl has been recognized with architecture's most prestigious awards and prizes. Most recently, Steven Holl received the first ever Arts Award of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards. Steven Holl Architects' Linked Hybrid received the AIA NY 2008 Sustainable Design Award. The Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City received the AIA 2008 Honor Award. In 2007 the School of Art & Art History (University of Iowa, Iowa City) received the AIA 2007 Institute Honor Award and the AIA New York Chapter 2007 Merit Architecture Award. The Center Section at the Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, New York) and the New Residence at the Swiss Embassy both received the AIA New York Chapter 2007 Honor Architecture Award. In 2006 Steven Holl received honorary degrees from Seattle University and Moholy-Nagy University in Budapest. Earlier in 2006 he was awarded the AIA New York Architecture Merit Design Award for the Planar House, the 2006 AIA New York Architecture Project Citation Award for Sail Hybrid, and the 2006 European Hotel Design Award for Loisium. Among the other recent awards are the 2005 New York Chapter American Institute of Architects Honor Award for the Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park. In 2003 he was named Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). In 2002 the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institute, awarded him their prestigious National Design Award in Architecture. In 2001 France bestowed the Grande Médaille d'Or upon him, for Best Architect of the Academy of Architecture; and in the same year Time Magazine declared him "America's Best Architect" for his 'buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye'.
Steven Holl is a tenured Professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture and Planning. He has lectured and exhibited widely and has published numerous texts including Anchoring (1989), Parallax (2000), Idea and Phenomena (2002), and Luminosity/Porosity (2006). In early 2007 two new books were published; House: black swan theory (Princeton Architectural Press), and Architecture Spoken (Rizzoli).
Steven Holl is a member of the American National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the American Institute of Architects, the American Association of Museums, the Honorary Whitney Circle, the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the International Honorary Committee, Vilpuri Library, of the Alvar Aalto Foundation.