Anyone going into architecture? How about art?
On a recent evening, architect J. Meejin Yoon sat in her Leather District loft
sewing mats of turf together. "I just have one more stitch," she
Several squares of grass, each about the size of an album cover, had
arrived in a cooler a few days earlier. Yoon had dutifully sewn them together to
create a large panel, part of a vertical garden installation called "Parti Wall,
Hanging Green" to welcome the American Institute of Architects conference that
begins in Boston today.
Sewing wasn't the only work being done in the loft,
which serves as architectural studio, office, and living space for the couple.
Her husband, architect Eric Höweler, was taking a call from a client in China.
Two other architects toiled at computers - one on a design for a home in
Virginia, the other on a new glass installation in a building in Washington,
D.C. Cardboard models, plastic mock-ups, circuit panels, and presentation boards
lined with intricate graphics were stacked, stuffed, and suspended around the
Just how many projects does their firm, Höweler + Yoon Architecture,
have in the pipeline right now? "I don't know. I lose track after 13," Yoon says
with a shrug.
Given the scope of their projects, losing track is
understandable. Some are small in scale and sublime. Yoon's designed everything
from furniture to a dress based on a Mobius strip to a layout for an art exhibit
at the Guggenheim Museum. Others are houses or mixed-use complexes, like a
30,000-square-foot building that will be built near the Shenandoah Valley, and a
boutique hotel on the Rhode Island coast. Höweler was part of Diller Scofidio +
Renfro when they designed the new Institute of Contemporary Art, and has several
skyscrapers to his credit.
At just 35, Howeler and Yoon are rising stars on
Boston's architectural scene. And with a reputation for thinking beyond the
confines of traditional buildings and working with a variety of technologies,
they are happily blurring the lines of architecture, design, and art.