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OMA Unveils Nhow Hotel Rai Project in Amsterdam

OMA has revealed plans for what will be the Netherlands' largest hotel. Part of the Nhow chain, 91 meter-tall "Nhow Hotel Rai" (or Nhow RAI) will bring 650 rooms within three stacked cubes to the Amsterdam skyline. As the NLTimes reports, OMA was chosen ahead of eleven practices to design the project, which will include a television studio, art gallery and sculpture garden, spa center, a "3D holographic meeting space," a multimedia presentation space, and 25th-floor lounge and bar area, in addition to the four-star hotel rooms. 

Bêka and Lemoine's Mini-Series Captures OMA's Final Month of Construction on Fondazione Prada

Building up to the May 9 opening of OMA's Fondazione Prada, Italian filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine have released 15-video series that captures the rhythmic and somewhat "transient" nature of the project's last month of construction. Part of a long ongoing relationship between Prada and OMA, the highly anticipated venue will be an "unusually diverse environment" sculpted from a historic 20th-century distillery south of Milan's city center that will be used to exhibit art. 

OMA Designs Chinese Pavilion for 2015 Venice Art Biennale

The Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation has commissioned OMA to design the Chinese Pavilion at the 56th Venice Art Biennale, just a year after Rem Koolhaas served as director of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition, "Other Future" will feature the work of composer Tan Dun, architect Liu Jiakun, artist Lu Yang, filmmaker Wu Wenguang / Caochangdi Work Station and choreographer Wen Hui / Living Dance Studio in an "immersive environment where artworks are juxtaposed in a field of projections and stages connecting the interior and exterior works."

1 Minute Series: Exploring 4 of Europe's Most Iconic Sensory Spaces

Fernando Schapochnik’s 1 minute series – a set of four videos of iconic buildings in Europe – aims to create a sensory interaction with the spaces. Filmed using only a cellphone, the videos rely on textures, sounds, rhythms and varying speeds to narrate the viewer's relationship with the spaces, letting the senses guide the experience. Journey through Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp, Antoni Gaudí’s Park Guell, SANAA’s Rolex Learning Center and OMA’s Kunsthal after the break. 

A Rare Look Inside OMA's CCTV Building in Beijing

Since the building's construction concluded in 2012, images of OMA's CCTV Headquarters have permeated the media. But inside views of this mutant skyscraper -- characterized by a soaring 72 meter cantilever -- have remained rare. Until now, that is. Images originally published by International Design and shared on WeChat by 广电独家 reveal the interior of OMA's CCTV Headquarters, including Emmy-winning set designer Jim Fenhagen's news studios. 

Take a peek inside the meeting rooms, hallways and control centers of CTBUH's 2013 Best Tall Building Worldwide. 

Review: 'All Of This Belongs To You' - Civic Urbanism At London's Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), named after the Queen and Her Consort, has its foundations in the Great Exhibition of 1851 amidst the wealth, innovation and squalor of the Industrial Revolution. Britain was flooded by prosperity which allowed for the development of major new institutions to collect and exhibit objects of cultural significance or artistic value. The institute’s first director, Henry Cole, declared that it should be “a schoolroom for everyone,” and a democratic approach to its relationship with public life has remained the cornerstone of the V&A. Not only has it always been free of charge but it was also the first to open late hours (made possible by gas lighting), allowing a more comprehensive demographic of visitor.

Their latest exhibition, which opens today, seeks to realign the museum’s vast collection and palatial exhibition spaces in South Kensington with these founding concepts. The interventions of All of This Belongs to You attempt to push the V&A’s position as an extension of London’s civic and cultural built environment to the fore, testing the museum’s ability to act as a 21st century public institution. To do this in London, a city where the notion of public and private is increasingly blurred, has resulted in a sequence of compelling installations which are tied together through their relevance either in subject matter, technique, or topicality.

The Ethics of Dust: Trajan’s Column by Jorge Oteros-Pailos. Image © Peter Kelleher / Victoria & Albert Museum ‘AgBags’ installed on the V&A’s stone façade as part of a work by Natalie Jermijenko. Image © Peter Kelleher / Victoria & Albert Museum Spike studs by Kent Stainless Ltd. that are intended 
to discourage people from sitting or sleeping 
in various spaces in the city. Image © Peter Kelleher / Victoria & Albert Museum MacBook Air casing and components from a computer used by journalists to write editorial about the data leaked to The Guardian newspaper by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor. Image © The Guardian/ Victoria & Albert Museum

Video: The Construction of AMO's "Infinite Palace" for Prada in a 32-Second Timelapse

Last month, Prada introduced their latest Fall/Winter line not on a catwalk, but in an "Infinite Palace" of disorienting spaces designed by AMO. Continuing the partnership with OMA/AMO that has seen the creation of catwalks, 2009's Prada Transformer and even the soon-to-be-completed Foundazione Prada in Milan, the structure "simulates endless repetitions and symmetries," creating a unique fashion experience that "multiplies and fragments the show into a series of intimate moments."

In this video created and first published by Wallpaper* Magazine, the construction of this mysterious space is revealed, from the construction of the MDF framework and hidden lighting rigs, to the installation of the faux-marble furniture - all condensed to just over half a minute.

OMA Tapped to Design New York High Line's Latest Project

New York developer Related Companies has reportedly commissioned OMA to design their newest High Line project on West 18th Street. The Rotterdam-based practice is the latest to join a list of internationally acclaimed architects who will be leaving their mark on the elevated Manhattan parkway, including Zaha Hadid who also was tapped by Related Companies to design an 11-story, luxury apartment project on 520 W. 28th Street. Few details have been released; the commission will be OMA’s first major project in New York City. They will be working on the project alongside practice’s comprehensive “Rebuild by Design” strategy for Hoboken

OMA Opens New Office in Dubai

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has opened a Dubai office to design and oversee projects in the Middle East-Africa region. Together with headquarters in Rotterdam and offices in New York, Hong Kong, Beijing and Doha, OMA Dubai aims to “strengthen the practice’s presence in the Middle East, and also provide a connection point for future work in Africa and India.” The office is located in Al Warsan Tower in TECOM.

OMA Nears Completion of Fondazione Prada’s New Milan Venue

© OMA and Fondazione Prada
© OMA and Fondazione Prada

When first commissioned by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli to design Fondazione Prada’s new space in Largo Asarco, OMA set out to “expand the repertoire of spatial typologies in which art can be exhibited and shared with the public.” The result, an “unusually diverse environment” staged within a historic 20th-century distillery south of Milan’s city center that goes beyond the traditional white museum box. 

Prada Launches FW2015 Menswear in OMA/AMO's "Infinite Palace"

On Sunday, Prada ditched the classic runway to kickoff their 2015 Fall/Winter menswear line in a “disorienting landscape” designed by OMA’s research counterpart AMO. The partitioned catwalk transformed an exiting room inside the Fondazione Prada at Via Fogazzaro 36 in Milan into an intimate series of interconnected spaces affectionately referred to as “The Infinite Palace.”

“The existing room is disguised into a classic enfilade of rooms, gradually changing proportions as in an abstract mannerist perspective. As opposed to a single stage, the new sequence of spaces multiplies and fragments the show into a series of intimate moments,” described AMO.

Rem Koolhaas and Dasha Zhukova: “Art Partners” Reinventing Moscow's Garage Museum

Rem Koolhaas and art philanthropist Dasha Zhukova will be gracing the WSJ. Magazine’s February cover as “art partners” embarking on a transformation that will turn a ruined Brezhnev-era Communist landmark - the Vremena Goda in Moscow’s Gorky Park - into the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s new home. “The building is basically a found object,” said Koolhaas, regarding his “raw” design and intent to preserve the structure’s decay. “We are embracing it as it is.” 

Defining a More Purposeful Architecture: A Guide to Current Architectural Trends

The current state of architectural design incorporates many contemporary ideas of what defines unique geometry. With the advent of strong computer software at the early 21st century, an expected level of experimentation has overtaken our profession and our academic realms to explore purposeful architecture through various techniques, delivering meaningful buildings that each exhibit a message of cultural relevancy.

These new movements are not distinct stylistic trends, but modes of approaching concept design. They often combine with each other, or with stylistic movements, to create complete designs. Outlined within this essay are five movements, each with varying degrees of success creating purposeful buildings: Diagramism, Neo-Brutalism, Revitism, Scriptism, and Subdivisionism.

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

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 Assembly Hall. Image © OMA Faena District . Image © Faena Art Lobby (model). Image © Nik Koenig

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

UPDATE: OMA 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 Stockholm 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…

© Frans Parthesius © OMA © OMA Detail Night. Image © bloomimages

Reflections on the 2014 Venice Biennale

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

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

The celebrated architect Remment (Rem) 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).