Saturday, January 12, 2019


Anchoring: Steven Holl, Selected Projects, 1975-1991
Steven Holl
Princeton Architectural Press, January 1996 (third edition)

Flexicover | 8-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches | 172 pages | 205 b/w illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-1878271518 | $40.00

Publisher Description:
One of our most popular titles, Anchoring presents New York architect Steven Holl's projects from 1975 to the present. Among the works featured are Void Space/Hinged Space Housing, Fukuoka; School of Architecture, University of Minnesota; Pace Showroom, New York; Stretto House, Dallas; and the Berkowitz House, Martha's Vineyard.
dDAB Commentary:
In 1989, about thirty years before his Seven Houses monograph, New York architect Steven Holl put out Anchoring. With a square format, linen cover, and plenty of b/w illustrations (mainly drawings and model photos as he'd built little at the time), the monograph was very popular. It was updated at least two times (the third edition is what I own and focus on here) and established the format for subsequent monographs, including Intertwining and Urbanisms (all three from Princeton Architectural Press, it should be noted), which I discussed in terms of continuity five years ago. When I was in architecture school in the early 1990s, Anchoring was one of my go-to books in the library for inspiration.

Three decades later the book isn't so much a source of inspiration as an encapsulation of one architect's output over a period of time but also of the evolution of monographs. In regards to the latter, I'm amazed at just how much information is packed into Anchoring, information that is ditched in contemporary monographs in favor of more professional photos, larger text on the page, or praiseworthy words from a critic or fellow architect. Sure, Anchoring comes complete with an essay by Kenneth Frampton, but it also has loads of drawings and other illustrations that document an architect's process — even for projects that were completed and come with photos. Anchoring was far from the first monograph to rely so heavily on drawings, but it's easily one of the best.

Author Bio:
Steven Holl is the founder and principal of Steven Holl Architects (est. 1977) in New York and is a tenured professor in the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning at Columbia University.
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