steven holl architects studio visit
steven holl architects studio visit steven holl architects studio visit
dec 08, 2013

steven holl architects studio visit

steven holl architects studio visit
image © designboom




designboom visited the new york studio of steven holl architects, where a 33-strong team of individuals feeds the creative process of the firm; the beijing-branch is run by a group of 11 individuals who are managing its many china-based projects. situated in an industrial lofted space in new york city’s mid-town area, the office is openly organized to facilitate collaborative meetings and pin-up critique sessions:


we have pin-ups. we pin-up the work and critique it together and it’s a true critical process where people are encouraged to be very critical, and not take it personally, and that’s how it gets better. if you challenge everyone, including steven and I, that’s better. so, I like to say that, there’s no hierarchy in the office at the level of ideas and critique. everyone’s thinking and critique is very important. there’s a hierarchy in terms of getting the work done, obviously to make it happen, but in terms of ideas, we encourage everyone to be involved in the process.’ said chris mcvoy, senior partner at steven holl architects to designboom.



model of hunters point community library, queens, new york
image © designboom




underlying steven holl’s practice is the notion of ‘porous architecture’ — the ability to sculpt space and light so that users of his architecture are able to obtain a deeper experience through the relationships he creates between these, and the materials he employs. his designs often exhibit carved façades, and organically shaped apertures that inform and guide the way that natural luminosity hits the interior programs of his works, as evidenced most recently in his winning proposals for the ‘visual arts building’ at the university of iowa and culture and art center of qingdao city‘ in china.



general view of the studio that features large windows that flood the interior with light
image © designboom




the firm is focused on emphasizing sustainable building approaches into its site developments, incorporating elements such as green roofs and double walls into their builds, while simultaneously contributing to the preservation and restoration of the specific landscape in which they are working.


often viewing each new project as a musical composition, steven holl architects consideration and manipulation of light can be compared to that of a notes of an instrumental piece, through which he communicates a resonance and dissonance through the constructed form and its natural environment.



a library divides the space, acting as a platform in which to display numerous study models
image © designboom



a lofted storage space simultaneously acts as an exhibition area
image © designboom



model of the glasgow school of art, seona read building
image © designboom
read more about this project on designboom when it was in its concept phase and during construction/topping out



chris mcvoy with the model of tian jin ecocity ecology and planning museums
image © designboom
see more about this project on designboom here



model of tian jin ecocity ecology and planning museums
image © designboom



corner cut-out detail reveals interior circulation of the tian jin ecocity ecology and planning museums
image © designboom



detail of one of the carved volumes
image © designboom



archive area
image © designboom



model of the ‘visual arts building’, university of iowa
image © designboom
read more about this project on designboom here



model making workshop
image © designboom



‘when you are finished working, CLEAN UP!’
image © designboom



steven holl’s personal office where he produces his famous water color drawings
image © designboom



image © designboom



noah jaffe, junior partner; and chris mcvoy, senior partner at steven holl architects
portrait © designboom


  • LOVE IT!

    RIKKI says:
  • Looks like a lot of creative thinkers are housed inside of a Creative Minds Building. I’m jealous of what goes on there. Really nice atmosphere where people with similar but different creative talents can help and support each other’s ideas. Way to go.

    Richard Williams says:
  • Hey Guys,

    I really like the top image that you have used in this article. If possible id like to use it within a website that we are putting together. Would you be kind enough to let me know if this will be a possibility?

    Many Thanks,

    Damien says:

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