steven holl speaks about the completed sliced porosity block, chengdu
steven holl speaks about the completed sliced porosity block, chengdu steven holl speaks about the completed sliced porosity block, chengdu
feb 21, 2013

steven holl speaks about the completed sliced porosity block, chengdu

‘sliced porosity block’ by steven holl architects, chengdu, china

all videos © spirit of space

all images courtesy of steven holl architects



upon the completion of steven holl‘s magnum opus, the sliced porosity block in chengdu, china, the team collaborated with chicago-based filmmakers at spirit of space to document the monumental work to the fullest extent. two short films frame a holistic portrait of the building as it is enlivened by the dynamism of its users. the moving image affords a unique opportunity for steven holl himself to speak about the conceptual aims of the complex and the architectonic manifestations of his ideas for the space– all the while touring the completed work. although the program had been extensively reported, the three million square foot project as it stands is truly ‘shaped by sunlight’ both in the dematerialized geometry of the forms and in the subservience of built space to elegant ribbons of circulation, gentle slopes, and generous plazas. the films show a structure that speaks to early mandates for sustainable practice but also presents the intangible life that the space assimilates once soaring materials, orchestrated sounds and moments of light fuse into one architecture.


see designboom’s coverage of the concept phase and construction progress.



steven holl speaks about the work and his intentions
video © spirit of space



the skyscrapers are shaped by sunlight and are formally sensitive to the urban fabric



the architecture serves as a framework for the ‘three valleys’ of space, further accompanied by three symbolic water features



a view of a cor-ten steel and bamboo visitors pavilion, soon to be outfitted with digital projections about the history of chengdu



although there is a shopping center underneath, patches of greenery still jut out from the paved surface



in keep with the idea of ‘buildings within buildings’ remains with a permanent installation by lebbeus woods



(left): architectonic features bathe the space with a warm glow at night while recalling famous natural gorges (right): the posthumously completed work by lebbeus woods is reflected in the 366 day pool below, which commemorates the inaugural 2012 leap year



gentle ramps split the courtyard into two walkable levels, all of which frame the timed vibrant light of the lebbeus woods piece



interior views of lebbeus’ light vectors as they boldly weave through the architecture



these views of the building transcend language and time to capture the essence of the spacevideo © spirit of space


drawings clarify the relationship of building and urban landscape



circulation diagram of the complex as it interacts with the busy main road it lies tangent to, very much in the spirit of rockefeller center in new york city

  • By far, the most beautiful plaza I have ever seen. This is magnificent!

    Wes says:

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