Steven Holl’s Architectural Archive preserves his firm’s designs and the landscape

Inside, unfinished birch plywood forms an inner shell that encloses a super-insulated wood frame. The walls are pierced with high-tech insulating glass skylights and eye-level openings that open up to the wilderness.

“It’s not like when you’re in an urban situation, where you can’t really experiment with sunlight like you can here in a landscape,” says Holl. “We do [the residents] work in models and natural light. This is really important today because students are completely polluted by the internet.

After moving the models to the library before the pandemic hit, the team has been curating the archive ever since. “It gave this space momentum,” says Dimitra Tsachrelia, wife of Holl and partner at the firm. She was instrumental in overseeing the ‘T’ space, she notes: “The models had just arrived in December in boxes, and because we were here, that prompted bringing the books and all the watercolors.”

Holl also began running his office in Rhinebeck full-time, while maintaining offices in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York and Beijing. He doesn’t want to go back. “I really like it, and everything connected well with Zoom, so we’re moving on,” says Holl. “It’s a godsend to be able to go out all the time.”

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