An unparalleled ability to dress spaces with light is Steven Holl’s formula for buildings that inspire the soul

Named by Time magazine America’s best architect, Steven Holl is the highest-profile American architect of his generation: a stylistic chameleon capturing natural light in inspired proportions.

With a multidisciplinary approach and a manifesto declared in 1989, Steven Holl and his fellows have clear ideas and a taste for arts: architecture serves to explain the landscape and should have a metaphysical, poetic link with the site.

Holl’s work is immediately accessible to the senses, transcending the human experience.

To him, space is oblivion without light: the psychological and biological importance of this natural element challenges the architect to bring daylight into places where it is not usually found.

Architecture’s spiritual longing is also satisfied by the use of mathematical relationships: the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence are adopted in projects that are scientifically proven to be pleasing and beautiful to the human eye.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – Kansas City

An example of experiential architecture, that unfolds for visitors while fusing with the landscape, in the Nelson-Atkins museum the relation between the depth and the height of the buildings is perfectly calibrated not to prevent the views of the surroundings: the continuity of the garden guides the guests into a dynamic journey between art, light, landscape, and architecture, of course.

Curious to know more about iconic architects? Don’t miss Archi Icons – Rem Koolhaas.

University of Iowa – Iowa City

Steven Holl’s double intervention in the campus highlights one of Holl’s more valued themes: architecture at the service of social interactions.

Following the construction of the Art & History department, the Visual Art Building is located right across it: with multiple centers of light and connection, the ensemble represents a social condenser where passersby can get inspired, a catalyst for connecting people through art.

Linked Hybrid – Beijing

Eight towers linked by a ring of eight sky bridges with fluid movement inspired by Matisse ‘La Danse’: 750 apartments surrounded by a variety of public functions and recreational facilities, a sustainable city within the city that is also one of the largest geothermal heating and cooling system in the world.

Hunters Point Library – New York City

From the outside, the Hunters Point Library is a cubic block with some striking organic cuts. From the inside, the natural light and the unusual views on the East River and Manhattan can be enjoyed from every corner of the room, shaping the best part of the experience in a place of inspiration and contemplation.

If you are curious to know more about the Hunters Point Library, don’t miss A block full of books surrounded by skyscrapers – Hunters Point Library.

Kiasma Museum – Helsinki

When in 1995 Steven Holl named ‘Chiasma’ – namely ‘a point of contact’ – the project for the museum, he was also unveiling the chosen approach: conceived on a dynamic relation, the building is made of two blocks intersected, a straight prism and a curved volume.

Light, once again, creates the perfect atmosphere throughout the exhibition paths.