Steven Holl Architects is recognized for the ability to shape space and light with great contextual sensitivity and to catalyze the unique qualities of each project to create a concept-driven design at multiple scales, from minimal dwellings, to university works, to new hybrid models of urbanism.
From fusing landscape and architecture to energy conservation, resilient design, integrating fresh air, light, and greenspace, these core values are fundamental and particular to each site and circumstance. To date, SHA has realized the first LEED platinum building in China, and it has integrated geothermal systems in over 20 completed projects across the globe. Ecological innovation underlies all our work.
Idea and Function
Steven Holl Architects’ philosophy is centered around a specificity in approach to design. In each project, the firm explores new ways to integrate an organizing idea with the programmatic and functional essence of a building. Rather than imposing a style upon different programs, sites, and climates, the unique character of a project becomes the starting point for an architectural idea. The concept acts as a thread connecting disparate parts with exact intention.
“The site of a building is more than a mere ingredient in its conception. It is its physical and metaphysical foundation. Building transcends physical and functional requirements by fusing with a place, by gathering the meaning of a situation. 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.”
-Steven Holl, Anchoring, 1988
Light, Material and Detail
While anchoring each work in its specific site and circumstance, Steven Holl Architects endeavors 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, producing thought and sense-provoking qualities in the experience of a place. With each project, the firm is inspired to create inventive details and experiment with new materials.