A new type of architecture exhibition: empathies between Mackintosh and Holl in Glasgow

Thomas Deckker, Gordon Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


“There are periods in all the arts when the language reaches a certain critical mass of complexity, beyond which lies only sterile mannerism. At those times, when the art form seems particularly inflated and prolix, spring-cleaning is in order… The simple gesture is the hardest of all to defend…”; the composer of Nixon in China, John Adams, speaking of the work of composer Steve Reich. In considering Holl and Mackintosh together two themes emerge, the first, the idea of an architecture of uncertainty as a metaphor for where we are as a society and as a profession. Not simply doubt, but the indefinite. The second how we place architecture and architects in a wider contemporary cultural context. Starting with the latter, to attempt a placing of Holl in an American artistic cultural context, in his Reid Inaugural Lecture he plainly set out a lifetime of collaboration with contemporary artists empathetic to his approach. Another architect, his Finnish collaborator, Juhanni Palassma suggests: “Steven Holl re-sensualises space, material, light.” Interestingly motivations may be better understood by shifting outside the visual arts to look at counterparts in music
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalARQ - Architectural Research Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Mackintosh
  • Holl
  • Glasgow architecture


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