Design Diary

A personal review of design creations.

ONE TWO FIVE - Steven Holl's Watercolours in Milan


A highly-anticipated exhibition, this Milan show is an absolute official first by Steven Holl in Italy and focuses on his signature style: watercolour.

About thirty works in all, in addition to the watercolours, the show includes project sketches, limited edition furnishings and sculptures, some of which clearly trace back to the strong bond between Steven Holl and Italy. A bond formed when Holl moved to Rome in 1970 to continue his studies, thanks to a scholarship awarded after he graduated from the University of Washington.

The selected drawings - a fundamental tool for Steven Holl, both in presenting a concept and in its development - narrate eight projects, some unrealised, all filled with the extraordinarily expressive and poetic quality of his unique style.

Maggie's Carpet 8, 2017_Maggie's Cancer Care Centre_Shot.jpeg

The relationship between Steven Holl and Italy was therefore segmented and parallel until 2015, when the architect received the Honorary Degree in Architecture from the Milan Polytechnic. In that occasion, Steven Holl and Marco Sammicheli know and sprout the idea of "doing something together" in Italy. Next April, this idea curator Sammicheli itself will become an absolutely unmissable event.

The presentation at the Galleria Jannone is the distinguishing note of a small anecdote: Steven Holl had already met Antonia Jannone, as a visitor, forty years ago in the space of Corso Garibaldi. They had promised to find themselves one day.

Today a circle seems to close with ONE TWO FIVE, a title full of symbolism. A reference to Holl’s daughter, who is two years old and she is learning to count, the formal studies of Michelangelo and Picasso that are taken by the architect in his sculptures. But 125 is also the civic number of the Galleria in Corso Garibaldi in Milan.

ONE TWO FIVE - Steven Holl show will take place at the Galleria Jannone in Milan from April 18th to June 3rd, 2018