It’s that time of year when folks start to guess about who might be awarded this year’s Pritzker Prize, the annual that “honors a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” I’m not going to make a guess this year, mostly because I don’t want to be wrong for the third year in a row, but partly because the recents laureates have not be very well known and it’s quite possible that the committee will one-up themselves this year and I’ll have no idea who the laureate is.
So while I’m not thinking about who the Pritzker Prize laureate might be, I’m definitely not thinking of Steven Holl. But his office did recently release two videos about a three million square foot project of his finished just last year in Chengdu, China: the Sliced Porosity Block. The first video features Holl wandering around the massive project and describing a few bits and pieces of its design. Spoiler alert: sun, water and time are the buzzwords, and also maybe gorge. The second video is just a series of video snippets from the project that feels almost like walking through the massive work. And the scale of the project is out of control. It’s a little hard to get an idea of what it’s like to visit the project from pictures alone, but the videos help.