Steven Holl: Time light

Steven Holl, founder of the international Steven Holl Architects, lectures on the recent work of the firm.

November 28, 2012
7:00 p.m.

Steven Holl Architects | Cité de l'Océan et du Surf, 2011. Credit: Iwan Baan

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

Steven Holl Architects is an architecture and urban design office working globally as one office from two locations: New York City and Beijing. With each project, the firm explores new ways of integrating an organizing idea with the programmatic and functional essence of a building, “always using the unique character of a program and a site as the starting point for an architectural idea.”

Major works include Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland, the 2003 Simmons Hall at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the 2009 Linked Hybrid mixed-use complex in Beijing, China.

Holl’s architecture and writing has undergone a shift in emphasis from his earlier concern with typology to his current interest in phenomenology. Along with Juhani Pallasmaa and Alberto Perez-Gomez, Holl wrote essays for the Japanese architectural journal A+U under the title “Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture.” The publication was reissued as a book in 2006.

His most recent projects include the Daeyang Gallery and House in Seoul and the Columbia University Campbell Sports Center in New York City. Currently in construction are the new Glasgow School of Art, the Nanjing Sifang Museum of Art, and the Beirut Marina.

Steven Holl was the recipient of the 2012 AIA Gold Medal. His firm has been honored with many awards, publications, and exhibitions for excellence in design. Most recently, its Cité de l’Océan et du Surf Museum (pictured in the slideshow below) won the Emirates Glass Leaf Award, the Annual Design Review, and the American Architecture Award. In 2001, Holl was named America’s best architect by Time.

Moderated by Sanford Kwinter. Kwinter is a writer, theorist, and professor of architectural theory and criticism at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and co-director of the Master’s in Design Studies Program.


This lecture is co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.

The Architectural League is pleased to acknowledge the support of TRESPA for this Current Work lecture. This program is additionally supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.



City of imagination

Deborah Gans contemplates the larger urban visions suggested by the design proposals developed for The Architectural League's Vacant Lots project.

Drawing as thinking

Steven Holl, Mary-Ann Ray, and Nicholas Olsberg discuss the role of hand drawing in Michael Graves' work.