Born 1947, Bremerton, Washington, USA

A 1969 graduate of the university of Washington, Steven Holl completed his
post-graduate studies in Rome (1970) and at the Architecture Association School of
Architecture in London (1976). Returning to New York that year, he established his
independent practice. After a series of prototypical Urban studies, some of his small
scale designs began to be realised. His work assumed its distinctive character with his
Cohen apartment, New York (1984) and his Berkowitz house in Martha’s Vineyard
(1987). These works were featured, along with Holl’s award winning scheme for the
AGB library in Berlin, in his 1989 two-man show at the Museum of Modern Art in
New York. This exhibition consolidated Holl’s national and int’l reputation. There
followed the Stretto house in Dallas, an extension of the Cranbrook institute of of
Science in Bloomfield hills, and the St Ignatius Chapel in Seattle.


In 1993, Holl won the open competition for the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Helsinki and this, his
largest work to date, was completed in May 1998. Holl’s phenomenological approach
has always put a premium on constructional and structural inventiveness. This last is
particularly evident in his unusual use of lift slab construction in realising the Seattle
church. His prototypical regional megaform proposal for Texas known as Spiroid
Sectors (1990) is typical of his theoretical work at the urban-landscape scale. He has
elaborated his philosophical position in a series of books: Anchoring (1989), Questions
Of Perception (1994), and intertwining (1996). He has taught at Columbia Uni’s
school of Architecture since 1976, where he is currently a tenured professor. In 1997
he received the New York AIA Medal of Honour and in 1998 the Alvar Aalto Medal.