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06.03.05 - 07.17.05 | SCI-Arc Gallery
Steven Holl Architects: POROSITY

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The SCI-Arc Gallery is pleased to present Porosity, by the New York firm Steven Holl Architects. Applying ideas explored in their recent built projects, this work investigates concepts of porosity; the fusion of architecture, urbanism, and landscape; the fusion of light with form, shade, and shadow; and ultimately the fusion of spirit and matter, nature and design. Steven Holl Architects invented a new material for the exhibit — a digitally perforated porous skin of a walnut and composite laminate — that studies the possibilities offered by new, digitally driven techniques for a previously unattainable degree of porosity in membranes, surfaces and solids. Rather than focusing on independent, object-like forms, this exhibit stages a series of spatial sequences within, around, and between eight-foot tall towers. Recognizing the phenomenological power of natural light and shadow, the installation mimics the variegation of sunlight projected through trees: the perforated skin of the towers is penetrated by a low, horizontal light source that multiplies its presence in pins of light and a corresponding web of shadows. Porosity attempts to express how the phenomenal properties of light — reflected or refracted over a delicately faceting form — transcend the formal aspects of these surfaces.

Steven Holl founded Steven Holl Architects in New York in 1976. A design-oriented office, it has been recognized internationally with numerous awards, publications and exhibitions. In July 2001, Time Magazine named Holl America's Best Architect, for "buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye." Holl has taught at Columbia University since 1981 and in 2002, was honored by the Smithsonian Institution with the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture. Recent projects include the expansion of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the MIT undergraduate dormitories, the Whitney Waterworks Park and Water Treatment Facility in Hamden, CT, a new marina development in Beirut, Lebanon, a new building for the Department of Art and Architecture at the University of Iowa, and an eight tower hybrid housing project in Beijing, China to be completed in 2007. Steven Holl Architects was also selected as the competition winner for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County expansion and renovation, currently in development.