Steven Holl Architects’ work will be featured in the Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition, Towards the Tectonic…, curated by Kenneth Frampton. The exhibition, which has its origin in a seminar that took place at Columbia University’s School of Architecture in November 2010, brings together the work of Steven Holl, Rick Joy, John and Patricia Patkau, Stanley Saitowitz, and Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliff.
The tectonic is a basic yet perpetually elusive value in architecture to which the work of each of these five, North American practices aspire to different degrees. This is, as it were, ‘the common ground’ between them, made manifest here through the interaction of three dyadic conjunctions which pass from the most telluric to the most ephemeral, through the interplay between (1) topography / type, (2) material / structure and (3) space / light.
Three pentagonal enclosures compare the ongoing work of these five practices, chronologically according to these categories, i.e. topos/typos, material/structure and space/light. In consecutive flat screen presentations, five screens in each pentagon, the phenomenological scale and character of the work shifts from the landscape of the site to the light of the space.