Steven Holl


One question we get asked most at Palo Alto Design Studio is, 'who is your favorite Architect?"  

It's really a tough question and our answers probably change between a few of our favorite Architects. 

One of the Architects that continues to stay on our list is Steven Holl. While also completing many new works in the United States, he is one of many Architects doing work in China. The volumetric and light sensitive spaces which he creates reminds me a lot of Louis Kahn's work in India. His gestures in Architectural form are truly a piece of art but also fully functional Architecture. While there have been many Architects' work that have looked marvelous but functioned poorly and failed to serve the users, I have yet to hear this disappointment about Holl's work.

One of the things you will notice about Holl is his watercoloring. While Santiago Calatrava might think of new forms and ideate new designs from sculpture, Steven Holl begins his work by watercoloring. It's one of those lost arts, especially in Architecture, that we take a great affinity towards. You'll notice his drawings of lines are actually quite simple and lack detail, but his watercolors add tremendous depth and bring details alive. While we have nothing against mono-color line drawings, you might say they lack a certain aspect of reflectivity. This is truly brought to light when Holl adds his simple, but powerful colors with his brush.