Wednesday, November 7, 2007

From A Short Animation to Steven Holl Buildings

Just found out the animation for Kunek's song posted here is a French animation called L' Enfant de la haute mer. This short animation was so beautifully done, and I could watch it over and over again. It's very phenomenal and perceptual by catching the flickering moments of light and shadow, rendering the tangibility and subtlety of familiar textures, and thru. the usage of palpable and emotional watercolors. All of the above reminds me of Steven Holl's work: his phenomenal approach in creating space, his enthusiasm in natural light, and his signature watercolor sketches.

I was a big fan of Steven Holl in school years ago, however, I didn’t get to see his built works until recently. I made my first trip to Seattle this past Sept, visiting his St. Ignatius and Bellevue arts museum certainly appeared at the top of my to-do list.

I have to say St. Ignatius is PERFECT. Built ten years ago, the trace of time can be easily read thru. the beautifully weathering skin accompanied with lively vines.

Different colors and shapes of light arrest your eyes soon after you step into the chapel. The interior is perfectly carved to create exotic lighting effects. The sense of devinity is felt everywhere.

Love the exquisite design of the door. The door knob has such allure that you want to touch it, feel it and hold it.

I was quite disappointed to see how Bellevue works in reality: Holl's original idea was to introduce natural light to both lobby and galleries. Unfortunately, the three big light wells are permanently covered, as well as the clerestories along the gallery walls for a much more controlled interior lighting. The random pattern of the recessed downlights inside the galleries were also altered to evenly spaced track lighting.
The hanging curvy stair tube made of translucent glass remains the only highlight of the museum. It felt like stepping into a weightless space, a space blurred and softened by sunlight.

During my last visit of Beijing, I saw the construction site of Linked Hybrid, a sustainable high-rise residential community right off the 2nd ring road of the city.

Years back in NYC, I walked around Little Italy looking for Holl's storefront gallery . It took me quite some time to recognize the building. With all the revolving panels closed, it looked really austere and blended into the surrounding environment.

Now I look forward to visit his new art museum in Kansas City. With the cheap airfares from Skybus, it would be an easy weekend trip :)

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