Lecture by Steven Holl Architects in MArch



For the first time, the MArch graduate school has been able to count on the presence of one of the most relevant studios on the international scene: Steven Holl Architects. Led by his partner and Project Director in China, Roberto Bannura, the students were able to enjoy an intervention that was also a deep immersion in the phenomenology applied to contemporary architecture.

The first part of his talk focused on several aspects, tangentially developing a general explanation of phenomenology, describing it as a philosophy that focuses on the direct and subjective experience of phenomena. In the context of architecture, this philosophy translates into the design of spaces that are not only seen, but also felt and experienced, creating an emotional and sensory connection with their users.

Steven Holl, known for his innovative approach, believes that sensory experience and perception are fundamental to the creation of meaningful spaces. According to Bannura, Steven Holl Architects’ studio masterfully integrates light and materiality to build environments that resonate on a human level. Light, materials and environment combine in such a way that generates unique and transformative spatial experiences. The second part featured several outstanding projects by Steven Holl that exemplify his phenomenological approach. One of the first examples was St. Ignatius Chapel in Seattle, commenting on how natural light becomes a dynamic element that transforms the space throughout the day. The selection of specific materials also plays a crucial role, intensifying the sensory experience and creating an introspective and serene environment. Another notable project has been the expansion of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. The new addition dialogues with the existing historic building through light and spatial perception, offering a seamless experience between the sculpture gardens and interior spaces. This seamless integration of exterior and interior elements is a hallmark of Holl’s approach.

Finally, four projects that have been developed or are currently being developed in China have been addressed, as an example of the work that Bannura Cordina himself has done in the Asian country, reflecting the continuity of the studio as a beacon of innovation and humanism in the field of architecture.

Roberto Bannura studied architecture at the FAU in Chile, completing his studies in 1995. After a talk with Alejandro Aravena, who shared his experiences traveling, Bannura decided to learn about architecture by traveling and moved to New York. After working for some prestigious studios, he came into contact with Steven Holl Architects. In 2008, he moved to Beijing, where he would settle and become Project Manager for the whole country. In 2018 he became a partner of Steven Holl himself.


MArch Valencia. Arquitectura y Diseño

© 2022 MArch Valencia. Arquitectura y Diseño
Privacy policy | Cookies policy | Terms of use