T’s, by Holl

Steven Holl - T-Husene, Kopenhagen


The fourth post in de quadrilogy on architectural projects that represent a linguistic character features the T-Husene residential project by Steven Holl in Kopenhagen, Danmark.

The iconography of the ‘T’ has no other meaning than a functional one; the form is optimized for maximum views (to the horizon). While it is also called the ‘T-model’ it has nothing to do with the T Ford. The T form is a result of working from the maximum allowed height down. A top-down approach, but then differently.

Steven Holl discards the perimeter-block that was originally projected for the site as ‘non-individual’, basically saying it is out-dated – the zeitgeist asks for something else. I doubt that, because the residential projects of Holl seem to point to the Unité d’Habitions of Le Corbusier, with promenades in the sky in Beijing. That kind of typology is not urban, and definitely not always successful. In Europe the only ghetto’s we have are the modernist slab neighborhoods.

The grass (!) landscape that the T’s are put onto, that partly covers a plinth building with other program, has no apparent function. Holl tries to call it ecological, but how ecological is grass? On the renderings that are presented of the project I count — I am not joking — fourteen people walking on the grass landscape. Walking from nowhere to nowhere, enjoying the grass. 

But I like the T’s, because they also refer to another modernist architecture: the Wolkenbügel by the Russian Suprematist artist/architect El Lissitzky. Compared to that design the T-Husene buildings however look like they are overweight.

The project has been added to the Architects, Representation, and Top 10 pages.

More images

Steven Holl - T-Husene, Kopenhagen

Steven Holl - T-Husene, Kopenhagen (drawing)

Steven Holl - T-Husene, Kopenhagen (sketch) 

Steven Holl - T-Husene, Kopenhagen (interior)

El Lissitzky - Wolkenbugel, 1924