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.
This edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, explores London's new Design Museum – a significant expansion for the institution at an entirely new location in West London. The interior spaces of the former Commonwealth Institute Building in Kensington, which is Grade II-listed, have been renovated by John Pawson. Alongside the museum’s Deputy Director, Alice Black, the Monocle team investigate the thinking behind the relaunch and how the spaces are designed to accommodate a shifting audience.
Having found success in their winning competition entry for PEX Toulouse (currently under construction), the partnership has rejoined forces to take on PEX Bordeux. The architects designed their proposed addition with the goal of embedding architectural fragments to capture the essence of the original building.
OMA, Aires Mateus + Staab Architekten Unveil Honorable Mention Proposals for New Neue Galerie Competition
Two weeks ago, Herzog & de Meuron was announced as the winners of the international competition to design the new Museum of the 20th Century to be located adjacent to Mies van der Rohe’s seminal Neue Galerie in the heart of the Berlin Cultural Forum in Berlin, Germany.
We’ve now received additional proposals for the competition, including honorable mention-awarded entries from OMA, Staab Architekten, and Aires Mateus e Associados, and a finalist proposal from REX, that show alternative strategies for the site.
The official opening date for Caen's new public library, designed by Rotterdam-based practice OMA, has been slated for January 13, 2017. The Bibliothèque Alexis de Tocqueville will serve as the main library for the metropolitan region of Caen la Mer (in Normandy, France), with 12,000sqm of freely accessible multimedia space. Positioned on the tip of a peninsula that extends from the city to the English Channel, the site is part of a larger area of redevelopment. The ambition is for the library to become "a new civic center" for the city.
The Ensemble Immobilier Tour Maine-Montparnasse (EITMM) has selected 7 notable firms to continue to the second round in a competition for the renovation of Tour Montparnasse in the Montparnasse district of Paris, France.
Often cited as one of the architecture world’s most hated buildings, Tour Montparnasse has been criticized for its discordance with the Parisian urban landscape – just two years after its completion, new buildings over seven stories high in the city centre were banned, leaving the tower as an alien presence on the skyline.
With the launching of the competition, the EITMM hopes to transform Tour Montparnasse into a beloved landmark with a complete renovation of the facade, the building entry and all interior spaces. The budget for the project is estimated to reach over 300 million Euro ($330 million USD), and will be funded in entirety by the building owners.
OMA has released new images of their design for Axel Springer’s business and digital division, in Berlin, Germany. One of the largest digital publishing houses in Europe, Axel Springer officially launched the project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company’s publishing building.
OMA’s proposal was selected in a 2014 international design competition, beating out finalist entries from BIG and Büro Ole Scheeren. The brief called for a new modern work environment to house Axel Springer’s growing business and digital divisions.
OMA has unveiled its first residential tower for New York. Located at 121 East 22nd Street, the building sits at the intersection of two neighborhoods, with the busy Madison Square area to the North-West and the relative tranquility of Gramercy Park to the South. The building's facade reflects this duality, with a striking "prismatic corner" of glass contrasting the rest of the building's more conventional window layout. The corner element is designed to frame views, in some places directing users' attention up towards the sky and in others along the busy streets below.
“Belonging,” the curatorial quintet of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale, After Belonging, argue, “is no longer something bound to one’s own space of residence, or to the territory of a nation.” For this group of Spanish-born architects, academics and theorists—Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Ignacio Galán, Carlos Minguez Carrasco, Alejandra Navarrese Llopis and Marina Otero Verzier—the very notion of our belongings and what it means to belong is becoming increasingly unstable.
After Belonging is the sixth incarnation of the Triennale and the first one in which a single curatorial thread has woven all of the festival’s activities together, including the international conference. The goal of the two primary exhibitions—On Residence and In Residence, including a series of Intervention Strategies—is to develop platforms with the aim of “rehearsing research strategies,” providing new ways for architects to engage with “contemporary changing realities."
In the canon of great Dutch architects sit a number of renowned practitioners, from Berlage to Van Berkel. Based on influence alone, Rem Koolhaas—the grandson of architect Dirk Roosenburg and son of author and thinker Anton Koolhaas—stands above all others and has, over the course of a career spanning four decades, sought to redefine the role of the architect from a regional autarch to a globally-active shaper of worlds – be they real or imagined. A new film conceived and produced by Tomas Koolhaas, the LA-based son of its eponymous protagonist, attempts to biographically represent the work of OMA by “expos[ing] the human experience of [its] architecture through dynamic film.” No tall order.
OMA/Shohei Shigematsu-Designed Installation for "An Occupation of Loss" Opens Today at Park Avenue Armory
Artist Taryn Simon in collaboration with OMA/Shohei Shigematsu has designed An Occupation of Loss, a major new performance work choreographed around an OMA-designed monumental sculptural setting consisting of 11 concrete wells. Located at Park Avenue Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall, and co-commissioned by the Armory and Artangel, London, the performance piece focuses on “the anatomy of grief and the intricate systems that we devise to contend with the irrationality of the universe.”
Our editors look at hundreds of websites per week. What do they admire and appreciate the most? Organization and simplicity. Sites that are not only clean, but fast. We actively search for projects to include on our platform, so it’s crucial that when we visit a website we not only know where to look, but how to access information. Filters and facets are our best friends. Typological differentiation is important, but perhaps not as important as distinguishing between built and un-built projects (“Is that a render?” is a question that comes up at least once a day).
OMA & Bengler Present PANDA, An Investigation of the Share Economy at the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale
From the architect. PANDA investigates the accelerating influence of digital sharing platforms, their social and political implications, and pervasive impact on the built environment. In the early 2000s, the democratic spaces of the web were greeted as an alternative to centralized commercial and social structure; in 2007, after the financial landslide, the sharing gospel gave hope to those struggling to make a living.
Although societies have transformed through the ages, wealth never truly seems to go out of style. That said, the manner in which it is expressed continually adapts to each successive cultural epoch. As a consequence of evolving social mores and emerging technologies, the ideal of “luxury” and “splendour” sees priorities shift from opulence to subtlety, from tradition to innovation, and from visual ornamentation to physical comfort.
AD Classics are ArchDaily's continually updated collection of longer-form building studies of the world's most significant architectural projects. In these ten examples of "high-end" residences, which represent centuries of history across three separate continents, the ever-changing nature of status, power and fine living is revealed.
The scaffolding obscuring the facade of OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center has begun to come down, exposing the aluminum exteriors of the spherical Proscenium Playhouse and the Multiform Theatre for the first time. Upon completion, the experimental building will feature a looped public pathway, flexible auditoriums and unique stage environments. Construction on the building is now moving full speed ahead, with an expected opening date in June 2017.
Continue on for more images of the in-progress building.
Next Month, architecture will be hitting the mainstream media, as Bjarke Ingels has been selected to grace the cover of the September 2016 edition of WIRED UK. Titled “THINK BIGGER,” the issue will also feature profiles and stories from architects and designers Tom Dixon, Neri Oxman, David Adjaye and Rem Koolhaas. A Condé Nast Publication, the magazine focuses on the effects of science and technology on topics including design, architecture, culture, the economy, politics and philosophy.
For Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki and David J. Lewis, the section “is often understood as a reductive drawing type, produced at the end of the design process to depict structural and material conditions in service of the construction contract.” A definition that will be familiar to most of those who have studied or worked in architecture at some point. We often think primarily of the plan, for it allows us to embrace the programmatic expectations of a project and provide a summary of the various functions required. In the modern age, digital modelling software programs offer ever more possibilities when it comes to creating complex three dimensional objects, making the section even more of an afterthought.
With their Manual of Section, the three founding partners of LTL architects engage with section as an essential tool of architectural design, and let’s admit it, this reading might change your mind on the topic. For the co-authors, “thinking and designing through section requires the building of a discourse about section, recognizing it as a site of intervention.” Perhaps, indeed, we need to understand the capabilities of section drawings both to use them more efficiently and to enjoy doing so.
With the contract to design and build the museum in Perth officially awarded to contractor Brookfield Multiplex, HASSELL + OMA have revealed the design for the New Museum for Western Australia. The WA Government commissioned HASSEL + OMA to design the cultural institution in April of this year.
HASSELL Principal and Board Director Mark Loughnan, and OMA Managing Partner-Architect David Gianotten stated: “Our vision for the design was to create spaces that promote engagement and collaboration, responding to the needs of the Museum and the community. We want it to create a civic place for everyone, an interesting mix of heritage and contemporary architecture, that helps revitalize the Perth Cultural Centre while celebrating the culture of Western Australia on the world stage. The design is based on the intersection of a horizontal and vertical loop creating large possibilities of curatorial strategies for both temporary and fixed exhibitions.”