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VIDEO: What We Can Learn From Tall Buildings

What do you think the North American, Asian and Western European tall building communities most need to learn from each other? This is precisely what the Center on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) sat down to ask five leading architects, whose responses formed an eclectic and meaningful overview on the state of tall building worldwide. As Rem Koolhaas noted, each region has their own journey that is worth understanding, such as the Arab world’s transition from “extravagance to rationality” or Asia’s hyper-focus on project realization. But, as James Goettsch points out, “not every building has to be something remarkable." It’s alright for some buildings to be nothing more than “good citizens.”

AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA

During the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, we had the opportunity to speak with David Gianotten, partner-in-charge of OMA’s Hong Kong office. Gianotten launched the Dutch firm’s Asian headquarters in 2009, where he supervises major projects such as the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Taipei Performing Arts Centre.  

Standing outside of the recently completed Stock Exchange headquarters, he answered our questions about urbanization, innovation and the intricacies of running an office in an environment with such rapid urban growth. Shenzhen has proven an experiment of economic openness and is a vivid example of China’s recent growth. The city’s skyline is practically a physical graph of an upward-trending economy, with buildings designed by nearly every internationally renowned architecture firm. But OMA’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange building stands apart from the rest not only because of its impeccable construction (a rarity in the fast-paced building booms of Chinese cities), but also because it houses the institution that lists China’s biggest companies.

The 254 meter tower is an elegant structure that combines pure volumes with an exoskeleton grid clad in translucent glass. It represents a characteristic OMA-approach to innovative architectural solutions, made possible by extensive programmatic and technical research.

Read the full interview (which includes Gianotten’s insights on the study of architecture, the role of architects, and the importance of simplicity when communicating complex innovation) after the break. 

AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA

The School of Koolhaas

It is difficult to even imagine an architectural practice more influential than OMA. Not only has Koolhaas' practice completed high-profile buildings worldwide, but it has also been the incubator for some of the world's most famous architects, with many striking out alone after a period working under Rem. This article in the Wall Street Journal profiles some of the latest crop of "graduates", including Bjarke Ingels and Ole Scheeren, who have founded their own practices in the last decade and are now acting as some of OMA's biggest competitors. You can read the full article here.

Miami Beach Scraps OMA's Winning Convention Center Design

Miami Beach city commissioners have unanimously agreed to abandon the $1 billion redevelopment of its 52-acre convention center district, which aimed to radically reinvent the area. This decision comes just six months after the city awarded developer South Beach ACE and OMA the bid after an international, highly-publicized competition that pitted OMA against BIG

“For the purposes of getting this project done fast, on time, on budget, it’s unfortunate that we’ll have to make a very tough, challenging decision,” said Miami Beach Mayer Philip Levine, “To some people, it’s a little disheartening. To other people, it’s a very fresh start.”

As reported by the Miami Herald, the city plans to reinstate a bid for the renovation of the city-owned convention center as well as another for the development of a nearby hotel. Under the new bid, the city will no longer be required to attain 60 percent of voter approval to build. By doing this, Levine believes the renovation will be expedited. 

Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Metal

To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we've rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: metal. Check out the projects after the break...

OMA, Foster + Partners, Heatherwick Studio Recruited to Design 'Faena District' of Miami Beach

Alan Faena — prominent argentine developer  — is partnering with an all-star cast of celebrated artists, architects and Hollywood darlings to revive the decadence of the roaring twenties, envisioning a booming cultural "epicenter" for the city of Miami. The development, Faena Miami Beach, would include the restoration of the historic Saxony Hotel (the original symbol of opulent resorts along Florida beaches), the construction of new luxury apartments by Foster + Partners and the Rem Koolhaas/OMA-designed Faena Arts Center and Artist Residency. Review them all after the break.

Impressive Shortlist to Compete for "The Arts Cluster" of Arnhem

UPDATE: OMA has reportedly withdrawn from the competition. 

The city of Arnhem, the Netherlands, has revealed an impressive shortlist of five firms who will compete to design a new cultural building for the city, The Arts Cluster, which will combine the Museum Arnhem and Focus Filmtheater Arnhem. 

The five firms selected from 44 entries are: Architecture Studio HH with SO-IL (United States); ABT with the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG, Denmark) with Allard ArchitectureKengo Kuma & Associates(Japan); NL Architects; and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).

OMA Wins Its First Bridge: Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc

OMA has won an international competition to design Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc, a bridge across the river Garonne in Bordeaux, France, that will link the municipalities of Bègles and Floriac. The 44m by 545m bridge, which will act as "a generous new public space" and "an urban planning intervention" for the city, giving priority to pedestrian traffic, is the first to be realized by OMA. It is scheduled for completion in 2018. 

According to Clément Blanchet, director of OMA France, the bridge "is not the ‘event’ in the city, but a platform that can accommodate events of the city [...it] may be the least technical, least lyrical, but [it is] the most concise and effective structural solution.”

The architect's description of the project, after the break...

BIG, OMA, Büro-OS To Compete for New Media Campus in Berlin

UPDATE: OMA has provided more information and images of their proposal, see them after the break.

BIG, Büro Ole Scheeren, and OMA have been announced as the three finalists in the competition to design the new Media Campus for AXEL SPRINGER SE in Berlin, Germany, beating out Kuehn Malvezzi and SANAA. The final ranking will be released in January.

The new campus will be located on the historic site of the former Berlin Wall, what was once a no-man’s land. All three proposals address this contentious history as well as the demands of a 21st century workplace. President of the jury, Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries, proclaimed that: "All three projects show how fascinating architecture can be today. No matter which of the three proposals will be realised: The competition is already an enrichment of Berlin's building culture." See all three proposals, after the break...

Proposal from Büro-OS. Image Courtesy of Büro Ole Scheeren Proposal from BIG. Image © BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group Proposal from OMA. Image Courtesy of Axel Springer SE Proposal from OMA. Image Courtesy of Axel Springer SE

Which Architects Are Most Admired By Other Architects?

As part of their annual research for the World Architecture Top 100, Building Design (BD) has compiled a list of which architects are most admired by their colleagues from across the globe. Last year's results were somewhat predictable, with Foster + Partners leading and Renzo Piano's Building Workshop and Herzog + de Meuron close behind. According to BD, "this year saw a trend towards more commercial names." 

This year's "most admired" list includes:

Tomas Koolhaas Releases Official 'REM' Trailer, Exclusive Interview with Kanye West

Los Angeles-based cinematographer Tomas Koolhaas is nearing completion of his highly anticipated film, REM. The feature length documentary, which focuses on the work of Tomas’ famed father, Rem Koolhaas, is the first architectural film to “comprehensively explore the human conditions in and around Rem Koolhaas' buildings from a ground level perspective.” Rather than lifeless still shots and long-winded, intellectual discourse, REM exposes the one thing that gives each building function and purpose: how it is used by people. 

So far, REM has been funded entirely by grants. However, in order for Tomas to collect the necessary funds to complete post-production, he has turned to you by launching a Kickstarter campaign.  

Watch REM's official trailer above, which follows a parkour expert as he moves through the Casa De Musica in Porto, and follow us after the break for Tomas’ exclusive interview with Kanye West, who comments on his work with OMA at the 2012 Cannes film festival

Koolhaas on Place, Scale, and (De) Rotterdam

© Richard John Seymour
© Richard John Seymour

All images are from photographer Richard John Seymour,who caught Rem Koolhaas' recently completed De Rotterdam building on a broodingly foggy morning. 

At the opening of the newly constructed De Rotterdam building in his home city, Rem Koolhaas spoke at length about how this "vertical city" was designed to appear scaleless, despite its urban context. More about what Koolhaas had to say about the project and the city, after the break...

© Richard John Seymour © Richard John Seymour © Richard John Seymour © Richard John Seymour

OMA's De Rotterdam Becomes Screen for Stunning Video Projection

Last night, the facade of Rem Koolhaas' critically-acclaimed skyscraper - De Rotterdam - became the screen for the largest video mapping project ever displayed in Europe. The A15 Project, an initiative of Natuur & Mielieu, re-envisions the A15, the Netherlands' busy highway, into a "sustainable highway." Check it out in the video above!

Wainwright Weighs In on Rem's De Rotterdam

In the architectural stomping ground that is Rotterdam, it's no small task to design a building that actually stands out. But, according to The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright, the recently completed De Rotterdam building manages to. Although the Koolhaas-designed structure, which houses offices, apartments and even a boutique hotel, may at first seem simple (simplistic, even), Wainwright praises how the shifting masses cleverly play tricks on your perception. The building is undoubtedly impressive, but is the unconventional envelope enough to distract from a bland-at-best interior? Read the rest of Wainwright's critique here. evaluate

CCTV Headquarters Named “Best Tall Building Worldwide”

OMA’s CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, ArchDaily’s 2012 “Building of the Year,” was deemed “Best Tall Building Worldwide” by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Selected from a shortlist of four deserving skyscrapers, CCTV was awarded “best” due to its “unusual take on skyscraper typology.”

The jury stated: “Instead of competing in the race for ultimate height and style through a traditional two-dimensional tower soaring skyward, CCTV’s loop poses a truly three-dimensional experience, culminating in a 75-meter cantilever."

LSE Asks for 'Further Work' To Be Done on Shortlisted Designs

Following the announcement last month that the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) had shortlisted five designs for their new Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS) in London's Aldwych, they have now revealed that "there’s not one really outstanding scheme" and "there’s some further work to do by the practices and the LSE." Therefore contestants Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, OMAHopkins ArchitectsGrafton Architects, and Henegham Peng Architects must reconsider their proposed designs

Ole Scheeren in Beijing, from Nowness

Ole Scheeren: A Beijing Essay  on Nowness.com

In the latest of NOWNESS' spectacular videos, Ole Scheeren - a former partner at OMA and now principal of Büro Ole Scheeren in Beijing - reflects on the past decade he has spent in China overseeing construction of the CCTV Headquarters. He muses over the delicate balancing act that Western architects maintain when they work in China, simultaneously bringing change to the city and allowing the city to change who they are and how they see the world. In this context, where change is "something that you are immediately and instantly confronted with" he believes that the CCTV Building is "both confrontational and complicit".

Ten Firms Shortlisted to Renovate Mies' MLK Jr. Memorial Library in D.C.

In August, we reported a Request for Qualifications for the renovation of Mies van der Rohe's Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Memorial Library in Washington D.C. - Mies' only library and the only building in D.C. A few days ago, the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) narrowed down the list of potential firms from 26 to 10 and revealed that it was looking for community input on the library's future spaces and services.

The ten firms that made the cut are: