PRP Now! Sarah Hopper // Steven Holl Architects

June 8, 2021
PRP Now! is a series of interviews that highlight a current UTSOA Professional Residency Program student every few weeks.

PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I am working at Steven Holl Architects’ Rhinebeck office. SHA does primarily large cultural projects as well as some commercial and residential design. The firm has two main offices located in NYC and Beijing with around 20 staff members. At the start of the pandemic, Steven created this office here in the Hudson Valley and currently staffs four people at this location.

PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
I am enjoying many aspects of Rhinebeck including the beautiful scenery, the quaint town, and the lake. It can get lonely sometimes, especially during a pandemic, but there are many natural landmarks nearby as well as cultural institutions within an hour’s drive. Rhinebeck is also about two hours north of NYC and there is a train that runs from here to Penn Station.

PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
I have been working on two residential projects in the Hudson Valley as well as an exhibition and office space at Bard College. I was also able to dip my hands into a competition project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for a few weeks which was really interesting. On the side, I organize the library and archive we work in.

PRP: Describe the firm culture?
The firm culture is that of a smaller, competition heavy office. The design process is unique as Steven Holl is the head of the design decisions and our primary job is to interpret his watercolors and design intentions. It can sometimes be very fast paced and stressful, but the work is rewarding, and I am learning a lot very quickly.

PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
That I want to go get some quality TexMex. And I got to meet Kenneth Frampton.

PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
With the weather finally warming up, I will likely go swimming in the lake and spend too much money at the amazing local farmer’s market Sunday morning.

PRP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
My experience at SHA’s Rhinebeck office has been very unique. I have learned a lot and have come to work well with Steven Holl and the rest of the team here. I would recommend this PRP experience to any student interested.