Holl’s Watercolors

Although Steven Holl isn’t the only architect that uses watercolors, he does have a unique way of using these paintings in his design process; not as a means of rendering completed design work, but as a way of generating or developing design. It’s probably the most distinguishing characteristic of his process. He makes these watercolors in the morning, when he’s still half asleep. “I start in a half-wakened state” he says,  “It’s a way of dreaming and thinking, of bridging.” Above his drafting desk, you’ll find stacks of uniform 5″x7″ books full of these watercolors that he’s been making for the past thirty years.

There’s a good article about his watercolors here, which has dozens more examples of his watercolors for the interested. The watercolors I pulled above are from other sources: Architype, Holl’s Website and the NAI.


February 16, 2011