OMA’s Pantheon-Inspired Faena Forum Set to Open in 2015

© OMA

Alongside the launch of Faena Circle, an experimental collaboration between Faena Art in Miami Beach and its sister institution in Buenos Aires, comes new images of the OMA-designed Faena Forum. The new center for arts and culture planned for Miami Beach is designed to “catalyze experimentation within and across artistic disciplines and foster cross-cultural collaborations among artists throughout the Western Hemisphere.” A series of flexible spaces formed by interlocking cylindrical and cuboidal volumes will provide for a range of projects, commissions, performances and events. 

OMA Wins Competition for Shanghai Exhibition Center

Courtesy of

OMA has won a competition to design the Lujiazui Exhibition Centre, a 1,500 square meter space in Shanghai  on the site of the former “Shanghai Shipyard.” The design aims to create a concentrated culture and event space within the surrounding financial district, on the edge of the Huangpu River, one of the most photographed waterfronts in the world.

More on the design after the break

New Images Released of OMA’s Norra Tornen Towers in Stockholm

© bloomimages

UPDATE: has released new images of the Norra Tornen project (previously named “Tors Torn”), as the close to 300 apartments planned for the residential towers have been put on the market. The ground-breaking of the towers is currently set for May 2015. 

OMA has won the design competition for Tors Torn in Stockholm, beating out four competing practices for the opportunity to build the third tallest twin skyscrapers in Sweden.

Existing urban guidelines call for a gateway to the new Hagastaden area of Stockholm, and OMA’s proposal accommodates a mixed-use program with a set of “rough-skinned” towers. The protrusions and inversions at different heights produce an alternating pattern of indoor living spaces and protruding outdoor spaces. OMA explains that their design “challenges the expected uniformity and homogenous façade treatment that is often assigned to tower structures. Instead, it extends the skin to expose the individuality of the separate living units in the two blocks – a true vertical, urban agglomeration.”

More on OMA’s winning proposal after the break…

Three OMA-Designed “Park Grove” Towers to Rise in Miami

© Bloom

OMA is set to realize their first commercial residential project in the US: Park Grove. Planned to rise alongside the Biscayne Bay in ’s Coconut Grove, in close proximity to BIG’s “Grove” residences at Grand Bay, the three-tower luxury residential project will be the last building allotted for the “walkable” Floridan neighborhood.

Reflections on the 2014 Venice Biennale

Fundamentals (Central Pavilion): Ceiling. Image © David Levene

Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas’ earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”

13 Things You Didn’t Know About Rem Koolhaas

A still from the film 1,2,3 Rhapsody (1965), in which Koolhaas served as both cameraman and actor. . Image Courtesy of Rene Daalder

1. When he was young he collaborated with the director Jan de Bont, whose credits would later include Speed and Twister.

2. Koolhaas dates his desire to become an architect to a speech he delivered to a group of architects at the University of Delft when he was 24. 

3. The drawings from his final project at the AA are the most requested items from MoMA’s Architecture and Design collection. (Smithsonian Magazine)

Spotlight: Rem Koolhaas

Courtesy of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, via Flickr

The celebrated architect Remment () Koolhaas, the 2000 Pritzker Prize laureate and curator of the 2014 Venice Biennale, began his architectural education at the Architectural Association in London in 1968, eventually founding OMA (Office of Metropolitan Architecture) with one of his former professors, Elia Zenghelis (along with Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp).

Despite OMA’s current ubiquity, the firm’s beginnings in 1975 were fairly modest. The commission of the high-profile Euralille project in 1989 was a turning point; the firm then began to move away from small scale projects (such as the Villa dall’Ava) to the large scale works that they’re known for today. Koolhaas’ firm is now known almost exclusively for large-scale works, such as the CCTV Headquarters (named the “Best Tall Building in the World” in 2013) and the Seattle Library (which is widely regarded as one of the most important buildings of the 21st century).

Help Us Honor Rem Koolhaas On His 70th Birthday

Courtesy of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, via Flickr

Rem Koolhaas, one of today’s most celebrated architects, has lived a significant year. With the closing of his much-talked about Venice Biennale just days away, the Dutchman also turns 70 years old this coming Monday. 

Koolhaas’ approach to architecture and architectural thinking holds tremendous importance and weight – so much so that Bjarke Ingels, one of his many protegés, has called him “the Le Corbusier of our time.”

In recognition of his contribution to the world of architecture (and on the occasion of his birthday) we’re asking you, our readers, to post video and/or visual tributes to to your social media accounts using the hasthtag #70. Has Koolhaas influenced the work of your studio or office? Show your support or appreciation in a short video clip! Would you like to share a portrait or illustration of or his projects? Do you have an anecdote or story? Be creative! We’ll be publishing our favorites on his birthday, so start tagging (#70) and stay tuned.

In Progress: Stadskantoor / OMA

© Ossip van Duivenbode

Architects: OMA
Location: Meent 119, 3011 JH Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Partners In Charge: , Reinier de Graaf
Associate: Alex de Jong
Project Team: Philippe Braun, Clarisa Garcia Fresco, Maaike Hawinkels, Andrew Linn, Takeshi Murakuni, Peter Rieff, Tom Tang, Sakine Dicle Uzanyayla, Mark Veldman
Interior Team: Saskia Simon, Andrea Giannotti, Ross O’Connell, Mafalda Rangel, Lucia Zamponi, Grisha Zotov
Area: 43370.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Ossip van Duivenbode, Courtesy of OMA

Why China’s President Says “No More Weird Buildings”

The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, has reportedly called for an end to the “weird buildings” being built in China, and particularly in the nation’s capital, Beijing. In a two hour speech at a literary symposium in Beijing last week, Mr Xi expressed his views that art should serve the people and be morally inspiring, identifying architectural projects such as OMA’s CCTV Headquarters as the kind of building that should no longer be constructed in Beijing.

With ’s construction boom being one of the most talked about features of today’s architecture scene – and many a Western practice relying on their extravagant projects to prop up their studios – the Chinese leader’s comments have the potential to affect the landscape of architectural practice worldwide. But what is behind these sentiments? Read on after the break to find out.

Video: Rem Koolhaas Answers Questions From Fans as Part of ‘REM’ Kickstarter

In December of last year, we brought you news of Tomas Koolhaas‘ kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary about his father, Rem Koolhaas. Well, not only was Koolhaas’ REM documentary fully funded, three generous backers offered up $500 each in return for one question to be answered directly by Rem Koolhaas himself. The video above is the result of those questions, in which Koolhaas responds to questions on urbanism in the developed country of the Netherlands compared to still-developing India, as well as a question about how his early work in -making and scriptwriting influenced his architectural career.

Watch the video above and read on after the break for a synopsis of Koolhaas’ answers

OMA + OLIN Selected to Design D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park

© OMA & Luxigon

The competition jury for Washington D.C.‘s 11th Street Bridge Park has unanimously selected OMA + OLIN‘s design to turn the ageing freeway structure over the Anacostia River into an elevated park and new civic space for the city. With their dynamic intersecting structure, OMA + OLIN saw off competition from three other teams composed of: Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), NEXT Architects and Magnusson Klemencic AssociatesStoss Landscape Urbanism and Höweler + Yoon Architecture; and Balmori Associates and Cooper, Robertson & Partners.

Read on after the break for more on the design and a complete set of images.

4 Visions Released for D.C.’s First Elevated Park

© OLIN /

OMA, Höweler + Yoon, , and Cooper, Robertson & Partners are amongst four interdisciplinary teams competing to design Washington D.C.’s first elevated public park. As part of a six month nationwide competition, the shortlisted teams have just released their preliminary design proposals for what will be known as the 11th Street Bridge Park.

Suspended over the Anacostia River, the multi-use park aims to re-connect two disparate city districts and re-engage residents with the riverfront by offering a 21st century civic “playscape.” Education and performance spaces, as well as a cafe and water sport areas will all be included in the masterplan.

A preview of the four shortlisted schemes, after the break…

OMA Announces Addition of Four New Partners

OMA has announced the addition of four new equity partners, all promoted from Associate level, to take its total number of partners to ten. The move is a reflection of ’s increasing workload in both architectural projects, and also the increasing involvement of AMO, the company’s research offshoot. With two of the new partners based in their overseas offices, it also represents a move to strengthen their work in markets outside of their European base. Read on after the break for details of all four new partners.

OMA Creates 360-Degree Cinema at the Venice Biennale

The movable module has been placed in the middle of Stage F, displaying one screen for each side. Image © Giorgio De Vecchi

OMA has recently transformed the F stage of the Corderie at the Venice Biennale to become a four screen, 360-degree cinema hall. Complementing the exhibitions at the Biennale, full movies will be screened in the space on weekends from now until November.

More on the movie screenings after the break

OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center (TPAC) Tops Out

Courtesy of OMA; Photography by Philippe Ruault

OMA‘s Taipei Performing Arts Center (TPAC) has topped out in a ceremony including Taipei’s mayor Hau Lung-pin, and OMA’s Partners in charge of the project, Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten. Even in its current skeletal state, the rigidly geometric form is clearly expressed with it’s central cube supporting three protruding auditoriums, two cubic and one spherical. The design of the TPAC is in many ways experimental, incorporating a looped public path which shows off the building’s backstage areas, and flexible auditoriums which can even be combined, offering extraordinary stage spaces that allow performances which would be impossible in any other .

Ahead of the topping out ceremony we spoke to partner in charge David Gianotten, who explained the building’s design concepts and the challenges (or rather, surprising lack of challenges) in the construction, and told us “you will only understand it when you have seen it. It’s super exciting, we encourage everybody that loves architecture to come and see it because it’s spectacular.”

Read on after the break for the full interview

The Berlage Archive: Elia Zenghelis (2009)

In this 2009 lecture titled “Fabricating Ideology and Architectural Education,” seminal architect, educator, and co-founder of OMA Elia Zenghelis discusses the development of ideologies that shape architectural discourse vis-a-vis architectural education. Arguing that architectural education is motivated by religious, socio-political, and economic principles, Zenghelis makes the case that the war-torn 20th century has been an era of upheaval and conflict, resulting in the loss of historical context and a confused state for artists and architects. Proposing the idea that architecture is a servant of power, and is thus intrinsically intertwined with political and societal trends, Zenghelis urges a return to a contextualized understanding of architectural history in order for contemporary architects to develop a sensitive and nuanced approach to their practice. 

Discussing his relationships and collaborations with former students and colleagues Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, and Peter Eisenman, as well as the political and architectural legacy of such giants as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, Elia Zenghelis provides a compelling conversation about the inherent role of architecture in political discourse.

Don’t miss the other lectures in The Berlage Archive series

34 Football Fields of Museums: Rem Koolhaas Talks at the Galeries Lafayette

“I feel a misfit in my own time,” says Rem Koolhaas, setting the tone. Seated in soon-to-be renovated Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Koolhaas bares all intellectually through the course of his lecture. As founder of Rotterdam-based OMA with a worldwide practice, candid conversations with Koolhaas are rare. The discussion provides a glimpse into the creative process of one of the world’s leading architects and current Curator of the Venice Biennale of Architecture. Koolhaas confides in the audience from the outset, admitting his discomfort with current architecture. “From the inside of my current condition, I feel profoundly out of step with the contemporary situation,” says Koolhaas, adding ”I’m very annoyed by the contemporary belief in comfort as the ultimate virtue.”

Read on after the break for more summary of the fascinating lecture

Koolhaas stands at the intersection of art and architecture, deliberating on the evolution of museum design. Using the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern by Herzog & de Meuron as an example, Koolhaas states: “In order to fill spaces like this, artists are forced into an apocalyptic mode as only very strong emotions register – this is not a space you can fill with delicacy.” Koolhaas’ solution to the apocalyptic problem can be found in his recent design for the renovation of Galeries Lafayette, a heritage protected building in Paris with zero tolerance for structural modification. The design calls for movable floors installed in a steel-framed courtyard – the only intervention available in the listed building. “The beauty of preservation is that it begins with acknowledging that another architecture is worth keeping,” concludes Koolhaas.