Inside SCI-Arc


12.04.09 | W.M. Keck Lecture Hall, 1pm
Holger Kehne: Plasma Studio, London

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(Photos: Lida Mahabadi)

The term plasma comes from Classic Greek and means modeling, form, fabric, imagination, fiction. In Physics, the Plasma State—or fourth state of matter—describes a unique condition of matter arising at a complex overlay of external forces. Plasma, a charged field of particles, conducts energy.

Plasma Studio is one of the leading emergent architectural studios with a worldwide recognition and scope. Founded by Holger Khene and Eva Castro in London in 1999, the practice quickly came to recognition through a range of small innovative residential and commercial refurbishment projects in London, that all share a consistency in innovation, appropriateness and quality and gained the practice the prestigious Corus/ Building Design Young Architect of the Year Award in 2002.

Shortly afterwards, Plasma expanded into Europe with a second office location in Sesto near Bolzano, Italy, lead by partner Ulla Hell. These two studio locations work dialectically: in London its multicultural staff is immersed in a fast-moving, diverse and urban culture, whereas in Bolzano—an area of outstanding natural beauty and strong local crafts tradition—the work is developed from engaging with nature, the landscape and local materials.

Plasma came to worldwide recognition with its floor for Hotel Puerta America, Madrid in 2005. The project was published widely and became a benchmark for experimental hotel design.

Since then the studio has become increasingly global, working on projects in Europe, Africa, The Middle East and China. In 2008 it won the competition for the International Horticultural Expo 2011. In charge for 37ha landscape park with a range of cultural and infrastructural buildings, Plasma has just opened a new office in Beijing.