Steven Holl’s Architectural Archive in Metropolis


Steven Holl’s Architectural Archive Preserves His Firm’s Designs and the Landscape, Metropolis, Jun. 22, 2022. 

Steven Holl can often be found reading poetry and painting watercolors in a tiny cabin overlooking lotus flowers on the edge of a lake in Rhinebeck, New York. The cabin sits on a 28-acre reserve that Holl purchased in 2014 that now hosts Holl’s full-time office, and ‘T’ Space, a nonprofit arts organization offering creative exhibitions, environmental installations, and architectural residencies. Wrapping around several large trees and linking through a passageway to another existing 1959 cabin, the Steven Myron Holl Foundation’s Architectural Archive and Research Library, built in 2019, is the latest building to be carefully situated in the lush landscape.

Holl covered the exterior surface of the 2,700-square-foot archive in an aluminum cladding with narrow corrugated bands that reflect light and diffuse shadows as the structure weaves through the landscape. It is heated and cooled by a 500-foot-deep geothermal well, which produces radiant underfloor heating while consuming almost zero energy. A green roof was installed in May. Local zoning allows Holl to extend the lodge up to 8,000 square feet, so the archive is anticipated to branch farther out as its collection grows.