Designing in watercolour

4 Dec 2009

Source: Steven Holl

In my post about the David Chipperfield exhibition I said that I love looking at architects' sketches, and I think Steven Holl's watercolours are my favourite. He has an incredible ability to carve out space with the paint, creating a real depth. I love the intensity of the shadows in contrast to the bright areas of white light. I see an ambiguity in some of the forms, as they could apply to any scale - he may have intended them to represent buildings, but I interpret the forms as walls or furnitutre. Rendered perspectives can often be sterile, especially when created on the computer, but these watercolours have a real atmosphere and feeling about them.

About painting, Steven Holl says, "There is a joy in this way of beginning; it's inspiring and light, and I feel it's in my blood. I open my eyes. It's a new unpredictable day; I have a yearning, and it's unappeasable sometimes."

I'd love this book of his watercolours for Christmas.

Is there a particular architect or designer that inspires you?


Stephanie Sabbe said...

those are awesome. I did a post a couple of weeks ago on lighting and some of the spaces look similar to these illustrations. I wish I were better at hand drawing and rendering.

My new boss is a professor at MIT, so he is always making me go look up famous architects for one reason or another. My favorite design couple ever will always be Ray and Charles Eames.

Carrie Lee said...

Thank you for the kind words. And your blog.... just wonderful... keep on inspiring! xo Carrie

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