Steven Holl quits architecture to run for CongressShare
Steven Holl is renouncing architecture to run for Congress. According to sources (but denied by him), Holl felt snubbed when he was not selected for this year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Soon after SANAA’s Kazuo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa were selected by the Pritzker jury, Holl reportedly began consulting Wikipedia about the ins-and-outs about running for public office; witnesses report Holl asking colleagues, “Architecture? Why design buildings when I could be designing a whole country? Why limit yourself? You guys don’t realize how pathetic your work is.”
Having just finished his “horizontal skyscraper” in China, Holl declared there was nothing more for him, and by extension, the world to discover, architecturally. ”Frankly, I was surprised no one else thought about that concept before,” Holl exclaimed. ”You know, as far as marketing a big low building as a ‘horizontal skyscraper’ - genius! Anyway, when you think about it, architecture isn’t that big of a deal.”
Later in the interview, Holl casually noted that ultimately, “architecture is just four walls and a roof. Well, unless you’re the latest Pritzker Prize winner, then its just a roof and good intentions! That’s a joke. But seriously, I figure architecture has had a good run, but lately, its just been a bore. Projects are just a blur for me - glass walls, irregular floor plans, concrete floors, egh. How long can I keep this going?”
In Congress however, Holl thinks he will finally get the structure he’s long sought. ”I just love rules - and predictability. The regimented way a bill works through committee, and if lucky, arrives on the House floor…wow. Mies would get it.”
Asked whether his decision to run for New York’s 15th Congressional District was related to his not winning the Pritzker Prize this year, Holl simply said that he was “excited to fight for the great state of New York,” and that going forward, “my sole focus is the welfare of my constituents.”
Would he be able to tolerate being just 1 of 435 loud voices on Capitol Hill and a junior committee member? “Oh sure. I design buildings by committee all the time. And I hear there is an Architect of the Capitol, so I’m sure I’ll feel right at home on his committee. They have an architecture committee, right?”
Image courtesy of emilygeoff.