New Book by Steven Holl, Urbanisms: Working with Doubt Print
Thursday, 17 December 2009 05:42

Holl_Urbanisms
Steven Holl, with an afterword by Kenneth Frampton
Princeton Architectural Press
288 pp
8.5 x 8.5 in
Hardcover
978-1-56898-679-1


Steven Holl Architects has just announced the release of a new book, Urbanisms: Working with Doubt. Contemporary urban development is increasingly characterized by a reliance on diagrams, maps, and graphs to convey the rational, statistical point of view of the professional urban planner.

This volume suggests that just as modern medicine has recognized the power of the irrational psyche, urban planners need to realize that the experiential power of cities cannot be completely rationalized and must be studied subjectively. With a selection of urban and architectural projects from his thirty-year practice, Holl stretches urban planning into the domain of uncertainty, from prose into poetry. Urbanisms examines how perception and the senses are intertwined with the material, space, and light of urban form.


This volume suggests that just as modern medicine has recognized the power of the irrational psyche, urban planners need to realize that the experiential power of cities cannot be completely rationalized and must be studied subjectively. With a selection of urban and architectural projects from his thirty-year practice, Holl stretches urban planning into the domain of uncertainty, from prose into poetry. Urbanisms examines how perception and the senses are intertwined with the material, space, and light of urban form.

Arguments are illustrated by a catalog of projects organized geographically. Holl explores concepts such as creating cities from pieces or edges; moving in and out of the spaces between a built environment; inserting architectural elements into complex urban situations; constructing small-scale miniurbanisms; and preserving natural landscapes.

Urbanisms presents design solutions for diverse locations, including Linked Hybrid in Beijing, China; Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, China; Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, China; Green Urban Laboratory in Nanning, China; Toolenburg Zuid Schiphol, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Fondation Pinault Ile Seguin in Paris, France; and the master plan for M.I.T.'s Vassar Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A comprehensive exploration of each project illustrates this much-celebrated and influential architect's perspective on urban planning.


Related Articles: