Steven Holl Architects Receives Two 2013 AIA New York Design Awards

Steven Holl Architects has been awarded two 2013 Design Awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York Chapter. The Daeyang Gallery and House in Seoul, Korea was awarded an AIA NY Honor Award, and the Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, China received an AIA NY Merit Award.

The Daeyang Gallery and House, which opened in June 2012, was inspired by a 1967 sketch for a music score by composer Istvan Anhalt called “Symphony of Modules.” Three pavilions—one for entry, one residence, and one event space—appear to push upward from a continuous gallery level below. A reflecting pool, which simultaneously separates and connects the pavilions, establishes the plane of reference from above and below.

The red and charcoal stained wood interiors of the pavilions are activated by skylight strips of clear glass that are cut into the roof. Sunlight turns and bends around the inner spaces, animating them with the changing light of each season and throughout the day. Like a cesura in music, strips of glass lenses in the base of the pool break through the surface, bringing dappled light to the white plaster walls and white granite floor of the gallery below.

The Daeyang Gallery and House, which is heated and cooled with geothermal wells, recently received a 2012 Emirates Glass LEAF Award and a 2012 Annual Design Review Award.

Completed in November 2012 in the center of Chengdu, the Sliced Porosity Block forms large public plazas with a hybrid of different functions. Creating a metropolitan public space instead of object-icon skyscrapers, this three million sq ft. project takes its shape from the distribution of natural light. The required minimum sunlight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric prescribe geometric angles that slice the exoskeletal concrete frame of the structure. The building structure is white concrete organized in six foot high openings with earthquake diagonals as required, while the “sliced” sections are glass.

The large public space framed in the center of the block is formed into three valleys inspired by a poem of the city’s greatest poet, Du Fu (713-770). The three plaza levels feature water gardens based on concepts of time—the Fountain of the Chinese Calendar Year, Fountain of Twelve Months, and Fountain of Thirty Days. These three ponds function as skylights to the six-story shopping precinct below.

Establishing human scale in this metropolitan rectangle is achieved through the concept of “micro urbanism,” with double-fronted shops open to the street as well as the shopping center. Three large openings are sculpted into the mass of the towers as the sites of the pavilion of history, designed by Steven Holl Architects, the Light Pavilion by Lebbeus Woods, and the Local Art Pavilion.

The Sliced Porosity Block is heated and cooled geo-thermally with 468 wells at 90 meters deep. The large ponds in the plaza harvest recycled rainwater, while the natural grasses and lily pads create a natural cooling effect. High-performance glazing, energy-efficient equipment and the use of regional materials are among the other methods employed to reach the LEED Gold rating.

The winning Design Award projects will be recognized at the annual Design Awards Luncheon on April 17. The Design Awards Exhibition, presenting all winning work, will open at the Center for Architecture, at 536 LaGuardia Place in New York, on April 18, 2013.