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Steven Holl: Written in Water Hardcover – May 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Lars Müller Publishers; 1 edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 390707887X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3907078877
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 2.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,228,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in 1947 in Washington State and raised in the cloudy Pacific Northwest, Steven Holl designs understated buildings that traffic in beauty and illumination. His first structure was a 400-square foot sculpture studio and pool house built in 1980 in New York. Since then, he has gone on to design dozens of award-winning buildings for university campuses and urban settings in the United States, Finland, and Japan, including a new wing for the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute in New York; Void Space/Hinged Space Housing in Fukuoka, Japan; Kiasma, the Helsinki contemporary art museum for which he received the Alvar Aalto Medal from the Finnish Association of Architects; and his famous Chapel of Saint Ignatius at Seattle University. Holl currently lives and works in New York, where he is a professor of architecture at Columbia University. His most recent project is a major addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, scheduled for completion in 2004.

Customer Reviews

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By Joong Won Lee on October 11, 2010
Steven Holl is an awesome speaker, prolific writer, and a great material composer.
Architects around the world were surprised to hear his lecture, read his books, and
experience his works. Steven Holl, a man from Seattle, exercises the Genius Loci of the city.

After the daily ritual rain, the shafts of light-columns between dense clouds illuminate
that great water surfaces of Puget Sound. It comes as a no surprise, when young, that he was
completely mesmerized in the Pantheon, Rome.

On that particular rainy day when the droplets of water fell through the oculus of the semi sphere
ceiling and when shafts of light fell through the apex of the dome he couldn't resist but take off his shoes,
as if Moses did in front of burning bush at Mt. Sinai.

That day, that experience consummates to his architectural philosophy and becames the keystone of his later practice.
His architecture afterwards seeks and explores the greatest themes in architecture, the water and the light.
It comes as a no surprise, for a reader, why Holl uses watercoloring as his medium.
He literally designs light with watercoloring.

Take Atkins Museum for example in the book, his Noguchi-like, light boxes not only illuminates
exhibition space below, but also functions as a landscape element. He didn't put just another glass box
next to the existing Beaux-Arts building, instead, he shattered the
monolithic box into pieces to better the existing institution.

In the series of watercoloring of Atkins, one is fascinated at the focus of his design intentions.
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An amazing compilation of Holl's watercolors. Inspiring for an aspiring architect, I had coveted this book for a long time. I see this book as a resource to be visited from time to time when in need of motivation or a reminder of how poetry can be translated into architecture.
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