Ellen Van Loon is an architect at the forefront of her field. Alongside six partners, including Rem Koolhaas and Reinier de Graaf, her work at the Dutch architecture practice, OMA, has encompassed some of the most iconic modern buildings in the world, including the award-winning Casa da Musica in Portugal. Two of her projects, The Rothschild Bank headquarters and Maggie’s Centre near Glasgow, were recently nominated for the RIBA Stirling Prize. She joined the practice in 1998 to lead the design for the headquarters of Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Her specific expertise lie in the balance of business acumen and an in-depth understanding of all technical and operational aspects. Here we profile Ellen, with The Rothschild Bank as a backdrop, learning about the strong bond that forms between architect and building.
OMA recently completed their first building in London. The new 21,000sqm building is located in the narrow medieval alley of St Swithin’s Lane, in the heart of the City, a dense context where OMA’s precise intervention is able to blend and become an active urban piece.
The building, thanks to its structural steel design, is lifted from the ground exposing new situations, connections and views, detonator of a new streetscape where the public realm is as important as the office space above.
You can see Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon discussing this project on a video posted earlier at ArchDaily.
More information courtesy of OMA after the break:
Project: Rothschild Bank Headquarters
Client: NM Rothschild & Sons
Location: St Swithin’s Lane, City of London
Site: New Court, enclosed in cluster of buildings, adjacent to the 17th century St. Stephen Walbrook church; with main entrance on the narrow St. Swithin’s Lane
Program: Office headquarters: 13,000m2
Partners in charge: Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon
Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon discuss their design of the Rothschild Bank headquarters in London. Viewing the bank as a “dynamic system”, the main task was to create an “always efficient and always pleasant” machine that will accommodate all of the Bank’s London staff and reunite its connections with the city, including the St. Stephen’s Walbrook. OMA’s design for the New Court is the fourth iteration of NM Rothschild & Sons’ headquarters, all of which have been built on the dense and narrow medieval alley of St. Swithin’s Lane.
The film was created by Miguel Santa Clara.
This exclusive video of OMA’s Maggie’s Centre by BD online features OMA partner Ellen van Loon discussing the design for the cancer care center. Led by OMA Partners Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon with Associate-in-charge Richard Hollington the Maggie Gartnaval center located in Glasgow opened today.
Ellen van Loon shared, “I enjoyed designing such an exceptional environment with this very dedicated and inspired team of designers and contractors. The sequence of spaces is an interplay of openness, retreat and support to underpin the Maggie’s programme.”
Today marks the opening of Maggie’s Gartnaval, a new center for the charity located on the ground of Gartnaval Royal Infirmary in Glasgow, Scotland. Designed by OMA, the center aims to provide emotional and psychological support to those affected by cancer in the greater Glasgow area.
Rem Koolhaas commented, “We were touched to be asked to design a Maggie’s Centre, and invigorated by the opportunity to work on a completely different scale, with different ambitions, and in a different environment. Maggie’s is so unique and urgent among the projects we are working on.”