An Analysis of Steven Holl’s Phenomenological Design Approach in Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

  • Chuloh Jung
  • Mohamed Arar


This paper analyzes Steven Holl's phenomenological design methodology. The focus is on Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art since it shows that the phenomenological characteristics are diversified and materialized and became a turning point in Steven Holl's phenomenological architectural approach. The extension building of the Nelson-Atkins Museum not only integrates the inflow of light into the architectural structure and internal form elements, but also embodies the characteristics of luminosity as a collection of masses that reveal the light. This is Steven Holl’s idea to make a formulation for people to experience the building with their senses. The distinctive contrast design was used between main building with heavy and opaque stone material and the extension building with the translucent glass material of Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It was his design intention to maximize the presence of the extension building via the contrasting architectural experience. The phenomenological architectural characteristics of the space overlapped with the multi-view of the extension of the Nelson-Atkins Museum have evolved from previous museum designs. The creating of narrow and long circulation to diversify the change in point of view, it provided more positive horizontal and vertical changes than previous projects.


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How to Cite
JUNG, Chuloh; ARAR, Mohamed. An Analysis of Steven Holl’s Phenomenological Design Approach in Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. International Journal of Advanced Research in Technology and Innovation, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 4, p. 5-18, dec. 2021. ISSN 2682-8324. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 may 2022.