Steven Holl Architects Receives Two AIA New York Honor Awards

Steven Holl Architects has been awarded two 2010 Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York Chapter for the Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, China and the Knut Hamsun Center in Hamarøy, Norway.

The Horizontal Skyscraper, completed in December 2009, is as long as the Empire State Building is tall. Suspended on eight cores, as far as 50 meters apart, the building’s structure is a combination of cable-stay bridge technology merged with a high-strength concrete frame. The first structure of its type, it has tension cables carrying a record load of 3280 tons.

The building and the landscape integrate several new sustainable aspects: a microclimate is created by cooling ponds fed by a grey water system; the building has a green roof with solar panels; it is a tsunami-proof hovering architecture that creates a porous micro-climate of public open landscape. The Horizontal Skyscraper is one of the first LEED platinum rated buildings in Southern China and recently received a 2010 Good Design is Good Business China Award for Best Green project.

The Knut Hamsun Center, completed August 2009, is dedicated to Knut Hamsun and includes exhibition areas, a library and reading room, a café, and an auditorium. The building is conceived as an archetypal and intensified compression of spirit in space and light, concretizing a Hamsun character in architectonic terms. The building uses the vernacular style as inspiration for reinterpretation. The stained black wood exterior skin is characteristic of the great wooden stave Norse churches. On the roof garden, bamboo refers to traditional Norwegian sod roofs in a modern way. The rough white-painted and the concrete interiors are characterized by diagonal rays of light calculated to ricochet through the section on certain days of the year.

The winning Design Award projects will be recognized at the annual Design Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, April 14th. All winning work will be exhibited at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place. The Design Awards Exhibition will be on view from Thursday, April 15 through July 3, 2010.