Interview with Elia Zenghelis. Educating Architecture

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Steven Holl was born in 1947 in Bremerton, Washington. He graduated from the University of Washington and pursued architecture studies in Rome in 1970. In 1976 he attended the Architectural Association in London and established STEVEN HOLL ARCHITECTS in New York City. Considered one of America's most important architects.He has realized cultural, civic, academic and residential projects both in the United States and internationally. Most recently completed are the Cité de l'Océan et du Surf in Biarritz, France (2011).

Steven Holl is a tenured Professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture and Planning. He has lectured and exhibited widely and has published numerous texts.

Recently the office has won a number of international design competitions including the new design for the Contemporary Art Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, USA) and he has been recognized with architecture's most prestigious awards and prizes. Recently, he received the RIBA 2010 Jencks Award, and the first ever Arts Award of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards (2009). In 2006 Steven Holl received honorary degrees from Seattle University and Moholy-Nagy University in Budapest. In 2003 he was named Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Steven Holl is a member of the American National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the American Institute of Architects, the American Association of Museums, the Honorary Whitney Circle, the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the International Honorary Committee, Vilpuri Library, of the Alvar Aalto Foundation.


Elia Zenghelis, (Born 1937, Athens, Greece) is a Greek architect and teacher. He studied architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, completing his studies in 1961. From 1961 to 1971 he worked for architects Douglas Stephen and Partners, London, while also (from 1963) teaching at the Architectural Association under Hermann Senkowsky. Zenghelis became a prominent teacher at the school for introducing more radical avant-gardism into the curriculum. From 1971 to 1975 Zenghelis collaborated with various architects in London, Paris and New York: Georges Candilis, Michael Carapetian, Aristeides Romanos, Rem Koolhaas, O.M. Ungers and Peter Eisenman.

Zenghelis came to critical attention with the work of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), which he founded together with his wife Zoe Zenghelis and husband-and-wife Rem Koolhaas (Zenghelis' former student) and Madelon Vriesendorp.

From 1980 to 1987 Zenghelis was partner in charge of OMA London, and from 1982 to 1987 OMA Athens. Of the OMA works, Zenghelis was a central influence in the early works: Extension of the Dutch Houses of Parliament, The Hague, 1978; Lutzowstrasse, IBA Berlin, 1981; Parc de la Villette, Paris, 1982; Checkpoint Charlie housing, IBA Berlin, 1990.

Several of the paintings that Elia Zenghelis made with Zoe Zenghelis to illustrate the OMA projects - such as Hotel Sphinx (1975), and Sixteen Villas on the Island of Antiparos, Greece (1981) - are now included in the Art and Design collection of the MOMA in New York.

In 1987 Zenghelis went into partnership with architect Eleni Gigantes, in the office Gigantes Zenghelis Architects, London and Athens. From 2000 to 2011 they also had a branch office in Brussels, Belgium. However, from 1992 onward, Zenghelis withdrew from active participation in the office, and from design, in favour of his first and true vocation - education, which by then occupied him almost continuously. He continued to lecture on the work of the office however and make occasional contributions.

The office's most prestigious and critically received completed scheme has been the Ashikita House of Youth (1996–1998) in Kumamoto, on the island of Kyūshū, Japan, commissioned by Kumamoto ArtPolis.

In 1989 he was appointed Baukunst Professor at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (stepping into Jim Stirling's recently vacated chair), retiring in 2002. He also taught at the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands (1993–2010), and in 2003 was also appointed a member of its Board. From 1997 onward he also taught in Switzerland: as Guest Professor at EPFL in Lausanne (1997-8) and ETH in Zurich (1998–2000) and as Professor at the Accademia d'Architettura Mendrisio (2000–2007). He was appointed Professor Emeritus in different Schools of Architecture such as the one of University of Thessaly in Greece. In 2012 he taught master classes at The Bartlett and is currently the Davenport Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture.

In 2000, Elia Zenghelis received the Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Education from the Royal Institute of British Architects.




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