Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Steven Holl weighs in brings a link to a promotional video for Steven Holl’s new Beijing housing complex, “Linked Hybrid”. The quicktime movie runs about ten minutes and features the architect giving tours of past projects and in interviews. In this transcribed segment, Mr. Holl presents his definition of architecture…
Holl: For me, architecture is chiefly an experiential condition. The real measure if it’s success is its experience. The phenomena of walking through the spaces, the phenomena of seeing the views out of the apartments, the phenomena of watching the reflections in the water from the cinema, the phenomena of feeling the wind blow through the windows as you open them. The most important part about architecture is when you go inside of it, and how you live in it, and how you experience it everyday. So this is going to be the great joy, the realization of this project. And the joy of the people who are fortunate enough to purchase and live in this ‘city within a city.’
If you take the time to watch the promo, it is interesting to trace Mr. Holl’s urban models. Each facet of his project is compared to a different part of New York. He compares the publicly accessible storefronts in his project to Greenwich Village. The site, and views from the site into the Forbidden City are, “analogous to being on 5th Avenue and 60th Street,” looking across Central Park. The roof gardens in his complex's intermeditary levels are modeled after the roof gardens at Rockefeller Center. Is this a savvy marketer pushing a western designed apartment complex, a symptom of an increasingly Gotham-centered media, or a failure of architectural education to present a variety of urban models?


Anonymous Frank said...

"The real measure if it’s success is its experience."

How on earth do you measure that?


1:23 AM  
Blogger J said...

Perhaps that's a problem. I'm not sure its one for Mr. Holl, though.

12:38 AM  

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