Steven Holl Architects (SHA) is an international architecture and urban design firm with offices in New York City and Beijing. Founded in 1976 by architect/artist Steven Holl, it today employs a of forty.
Acclaimed in international publications and exhibitions for its design quality and excellence, the firm has won numerous accolades, including the Japan Art Association Praemium Imperiale Award for Architecture (2014), the Gold Medal of the AIA - American Institute of Architects (2012), 15 AIA Honor Awards, 27 AIA Regional Awards, the RIBA Jencks Award (2010), the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (2009), the Grande Médaille d’Or from the French Academy of Architecture (2001), and the Alvar Aalto Medal (1998). Steven Holl Architects has made a name for itself by creating iconic architectural constructions in major cities around the world, including New York, Beijing, Helsinki, Houston, and Washington, D.C.
The firm’s ability to create new architectural perspectives is to the fore in St. Ignatius Chapel at Seattle University; the Lewis Arts Complex at Princeton University; and the extension to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, described by New Yorker magazine as “one of the finest museums of this latest generation.”
More recently, SHA has completed the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, New Jersey; the University of Iowa Visual Arts Building in Iowa City, Iowa; the Reid Building at the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow, UK; the Campbell Sports Center at Columbia University in New York, NY; and the Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, China.
Current work in progress includes the Rubenstein Commons at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; the new Visual Arts Center at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; the new Glassell School of Arts on the campus of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas; and The Reach, an expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
In total, the SHA practice has completed sixty-eight projects worldwide, of which forty-seven in the United States and twenty-one in fifteen different countries.
Our seven-point philosophy
Steven Holl Architects is a purpose-driven atelier. We aim for an architecture which aspires to thought, connecting with all the arts and the human condition today.
2. Social Condensers
We aim to realize buildings as social condensers, inspiring the interaction of people and their communities, rather than simply fulfilling a program.
3. Natural Light and Proportions
Capturing natural light in inspired spatial sequences remains a core aim of our work as well as proportions realized with our “fine tuners” at 1:1.618.
4. Materials and Details
With each project we are inspired to create inventive details and experiment with new materials. Natural weathering extends principles of wabi-sabi, or beauty which is ever changing, yielding buildings which look better in time (such as our 25-year-old Void Space/ Hinged Space Housing in Fukuoka, Japan).
Our collaborative design process engages all in collective creation and building, with inspired working teams for each of our projects.
6. Ecological Innovation
Ecological innovation is a core aim in all our work. (The 660-well heating and cooling system, the largest residential geothermal system in the world, at our Linked Hybrid, Beijing, is still excellent after 10 years.)
The making of a place continues a manifesto launched in our 1989 Museum of Modern Art Exhibition. “Architecture does not so much intrude on the landscape as it serves to explain it. Architecture and site should have an experiential connection, a metaphysical link, a poetic link.
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