"AMO graphically reinterprets the Indefinite Hangar as a synthetic sunset fixed within a 3 dimensional blank space. The abstract hangar is populated with geometric objects and furniture. Characters move through a neutral scene between the undefined and distilled fragments of daily life. The horizon and scale constantly shifts, manipulating the frame and disrupting a linear sequence: an artificial landscape where fiction and collection collide," says the OMA research studio.
In his TED Talk filmed at TEDGlobal London in September 2015, Ole Scheeren eschews what he describes as the “detrimental straightjacket” of the modernist mantra “form follows function” in favor a phrase he attributes to Bernard Tschumi, “form follows fiction.” While Tschumi was referencing how cultural artifacts, such as literature, impact architecture, Scheeren reinterprets the phrase, imagining the stories of building users in order to inform the design process. Scheeren recounts, for example, how the daily activities of CCTV employees, the lifestyles of residents of a Singapore housing block, or the traditional tools of Thai fishermen have informed his various designs for OMA and Büro Ole Scheeren.
Of course, this “fiction” that Scheeren describes, these stories, are not really fictions at all, but the real experiences of the people who live or work in his buildings. In that sense, the fiction that drives his forms is really just another type of function, albeit a more human approach to function. Nevertheless, for Scheeren the stories of these designs goes beyond just the users, also encompassing the stories of the hundreds of people it takes to make such buildings a reality, and even how architecture can become a character in the narratives of our own lives.
OMA has been selected to renovate Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe), a historic department store in Berlin – and the biggest in continental Europe. Its giant size “makes it akin to a city: a three dimensional network of paths, squares, neighbourhoods, activitiies and views unfolding through its large extensions and providing opportunities for commercial, social and cultural encounters,” writes OMA.
To address the size, their design divides the department store into four quadrants, breaking “the original mass into smaller, easily accessible and navigable components.” Each quadrant will target different audiences and act as an independent department store. Learn more about the design after the break.
When it comes to the modern-day fashion show, the internet has fundamentally changed the way audiences interact with models and designers, say OMA/AMO, arguing: "The assemblage of recorded impressions and digital reactions inserts itself into the once autonomous narrative of the fashion show. The statement of the collective spreads. The mass of fragmented instant data is uploaded and critiqued by a multitude of voices."
With their latest fashion show design for Prada, which was used to showcase the designer's upcoming fall/winter menswear collection in Milan yesterday, the firm sought to enhance this sense of public judgement. "This consumption of images is like a public trial, a contemporary transposition of the Auto-da-fé," explains their press release, referring to the ceremonies of public penance which took place in the Portuguese and Spanish Inquisitions in the 15th-17th centuries.
As part of OMA co-founder Rem Koolhaas' sixth interview with Charlie Rose, the Rotterdam-based Architect discusses why the Dutch port-city is his practice's base – and why he switched from journalism and scriptwriting to architecture. In the discussion, of which four snippets have been made available, Koolhaas also explains why he feels that smart technology has a "sinister dimension," and on how he—and his practice—have a tendency to "resist aesthetic."
In the latest video from the youtube channel #donotsettle, architects Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost explore OMA’s recently opened Timmerhuis in Rotterdam. The duo compare the conceptual design and renderings to the finished building, look at the impact the new building is having on the cityscape, and with some good fortune find their way through some locked doors.
#Donotsettle was started to reconcile the disparity between film as architectural representation and as an experiential medium. For more #donotsettle, check out their youtube page, where they walk through the Markthal, designed by Rotterdam-based practice MVRDV and the train station in Delft, designed by Delft-based practice Mecanoo, among many other sites.
A new exhibition, opening later this month in London, aims to examine the varying ways that cities and communities have been re-imagined in the aftermath of natural, or man-made, disasters. Including work by Yasmeen Lari, ELEMENTAL, OMA, Shigeru Ban, NLÉ, Toyo Ito, Metabolism (Kenzo Tange and Kurokawa Kisho) and Sir Christopher Wren, who redesigned London in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1666, the exhibition will primarily explore contemporary responses to earthquakes and tsunamis. Posing questions about the fragility of architecture, our relationship to nature, and the power of architects to instigate change, it will ask whether we are facing a paradigm shift in the way that cities and communities recover from destruction.
In the coming months, OMI is entirely devoted to OMA, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. With the reopening of the Kunsthal, the completion of De Rotterdam and Timmerhuis this is a perfect opportunity to profile the work of OMA. OMI publishes a special map, organises excursions, and an accompanying exhibition at OMI’s own location gives insight into the work of the office in Rotterdam and The Hague.
LocationMeent 119, 3011 JH Rotterdam, Netherlands
Partner in Charge
Associate in ChargeAlex de Jong, Katrien van Dijk
In an article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote responds to the recent news that OMA, based in Rotterdam, have won the competition to design the British city of Manchester's new "ultra-flexible" arts venue. The Factory, so-named because of city's rich musical heritage, will be one of the largest cultural projects of its kind. Having gained and maintained financial support from Westminster, the building—which must be able to transform from a 2,200-seat theatre into an open 5,000-capacity space—is a flagship project for the British government.
Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) have been announced by the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer as the winning team in the competition to design the city of Manchester's high-profile Factory art space. Following the announcement of the shortlist earlier this year, featuring practices including Rafael Viñoly, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Zaha Hadid and Mecanoo, it has since been reported by The Guardian that the British government's original pledge of £78million ($117million) to the cost of the building will be raised by a further £9million per year from around 2018.
Since 1975, the Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture has produced some of the world's most provocative buildings. Led by Rem Koolhaas and his nine partners, the firm's most notable built projects include seminal works such as the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, the Seattle Central Library, and Casa da Musica in Porto, Portugal. Known as one of the world's leading creators of boundary-pushing design, OMA's influence on the global architectural landscape is undeniable.
Among the firm's several hundred realized projects, however, many lesser known proposals were drafted but never constructed. Arguably a fundamental component of the OMA's practice, the unbuilt projects contain some of the firm's most outlandish and important ideas with incredible potential to influence architectural design worldwide. As a tribute to Koolhaas and OMA's continued pursuit of the unconventional, we've rounded up fifteen of OMA's most unusual unbuilt skyscrapers. Read on to find out which ones made the list.
With the extensive list of acclaimed alumni of his firm, OMA, it is not a stretch to call Rem Koolhaas (born 17 November 1944) the godfather of contemporary architecture. Equal parts theorist and designer, over his 40 year career Koolhaas has revolutionized the way architects look at program and interaction of space, and today continues to design buildings that push the capabilities of architecture to new places.
OMA's first ever building for a religious institution will be constructed with a little help from one of the United States' greatest 20th century artists. In an auction at Sotheby's in New York yesterday, Cy Twombly's 1968 "Untitled (New York City)" - one of the artist's notable "Blackboard Paintings" - sold for $70.5 million, $30 million of which will be donated to LA's Wilshire Boulevard Temple by the painting's owner, Audrey Irmas, to fund the temple's OMA-designed extension.
As reported by the LA Times, the synagogue's new "Audrey Irmas Pavilion" has been designed to be "clearly in dialogue" with the 1929 Byzantine revival temple, and will be used in the celebration of weddings and bar mitzvahs, as well as for meetings, conferences, and gala events by other nonprofit groups. Though the design has not yet been unveiled, the pavilion is currently slated for a 2019 opening.
OMA and Buro Ole Scheeren's vertical village in Singapore, The Interlace has been named the World Building of the Year 2015 at culmination of the World Architecture Festival (WAF). Celebrated for being "an example of bold, contemporary architectural thinking," as WAF Director Paul Finch described, the project is eighth building to ever win the illustrious award. It is considered to be a "radical new approach to contemporary living in a tropical environment."
Winners of the year's Future Project, Landscape, Small Project and Color Prize awards were also announced. Read on to see the who won with comments from the jury.
Shohei Shigematsu, the Director of OMA New York, has been selected to lead the design of the exhibition space for the Costume Institute’s Spring 2016 Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Titled manus x machina: fashion in an age of technology, the exhibition will focus on the intersection of technology and fashion and “how designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.” Organized by Andrew Bolton, the Curator of The Costume Institute, the exhibition will feature over 100 samples of “haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear, dating from an 1880s Worth gown to a 2015 Chanel suit.”
"I think it is much better to say," explains Rem Koolhaas, "that we are challenged by people's needs." The closing line of this short teaser released by the filmmaker and son of Rem, Tomas Koolhaas, sums up perfectly why "REM" is one of the most highly anticipated architecture documentaries of recent years. Now three years in the making, Tomas Koolhaas' film will examine his father's incomparable oeuvre of work through the eyes of the people that inhabit the designs, eschewing the high-brow and sometimes impenetrable discourse that usually surrounds the work of OMA for something more elemental.
Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has shared with us images of OMA's recently completed Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow. The museum project repurposed the 1960s Vremena Goda restaurant in Gorky Central Park and transformed it into a modern exhibition space adorned with Soviet era tiles, mosaics and bricks preserved from its previous life.
"The building offers a wide range of interior conditions for the exhibition of art beyond the ubiquitous “white cube,” described OMA in the project's description. Scroll down for more images of the museum by Ghinitoiu.