CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings for 2013

Winner: CCTV; Beijing, China / © Philippe Ruault

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat () has named four distinctive towers from Canada, China, the UK and UAE as the best tall buildings in the world for 2013. Each winning project, judged by a panel of industry executives, has been selected for their “extraordinary contribution in the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, as well as for achieving sustainability at the broadest level.”

“The winners and finalists include some of the most striking buildings on the global landscape,” said Jeanne Gang, awards jury chair and principal of Studio Gang Architects. “They represent resolutions to a huge range of contemporary issues, from energy consumption to integration with the urban realm on the ground.”

The 2013 winners are…

Rem Koolhaas Will Design New Building for State Hermitage Museum in Russia

© Dominik Gigler

Dutch architect will design a new project for the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. RIA Novosti and The Calvert Journal report that the new building will be “located in the museum’s storage facility in Staraya Derevnya in the north of the city” and that it “will house the Hermitage Library, the Costume Museum, the gallery’s publishing arm, and a public event space.” This projects marks Koolhaas’ continued presence in ; he has been collaborating and teaching at the Strelka Institute and is currently working on the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow’s Gorky Park.

OMA-designed Luxury Home in Manila Nears Completion

partners and Shohei Shigematsu

Vanity Fair reports that Developer Robbie Antonio’s OMA-designed “Stealth,” a $15 million private residence/art gallery in Manila will be completed by the end of the month. The home is a series of stacked, irregular boxes in black concrete, with rooftop pool and waterfall.

OMA Wins Skyscraper Competition in Stockholm

© bloomimages

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

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…

AD Interviews OMA, BIG on their Miami Showdown

Over the last few months, and have been vying for the opportunity to redevelop the 52-acre site home to the convention center in the heart of Miami Beach. With two award-winning, international firms at the center of the showdown, the media frenzy has been intense and the public’s imagination activated. It only remains to be seen if the results, which promise to be visionary, surpass expectation. With so much on the line, we decided to sit down with both and BIG and discuss how their proposals differ.

For extended coverage of both projects see “BIG Unveils Design for Miami Beach Convention Center” and “OMA Proposes Radical Redevelopment Plan for the Miami Beach Convention Center

OMA Leads Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc Competition in Bordeaux

© , Artefactory, Frans Parthesius

City officials have selected OMA’s “stripped-down design” as one of two final projects for the Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc international competition in , France. Stretching over the Garonne River, the OMA-designed proposal seeks to rethink the civic function and symbolism of a 21st century bridge by designing a multimodal “platform that can accommodate all the events of the city.”

“We wanted to provide the simplest expression – the least technical, least lyrical, an almost primitive structural solution,” stated Clement Blanchet, the project architect working alongside Rem Koolhaas. “This simplicity allowed us to create a generous platform for pedestrians and public programs, as well as flexibility in accommodating the future needs of various types of traffic.”

More from the project description after the break…

Who Should Win the OMA vs. BIG Miami Showdown?

© BIG

The Miami Beach Convention Center, a giant box of a building constructed in 1957, is in desperate need of a makeover and two design teams have bravely accepted the challenge. Team 1 is dubbed South Beach ACE (Arts, Culture, Entertainment District) and is a collaboration between Rem Koolhaas‘s OMA firm, Tishman, UIA, MVVA, Raymond Jungles and TVS. Team 2 goes by the name of Miami Beach Square and includes BIG, West 8, Fentress, JPA and Portman CMC. Both proposals completely re-imagine 52 acres of prime beach real estate and cost over a billion dollars in public and private funds. So, who does it better? 

Vote for your favorite after the break…

Strelka Talks: Architecture and Community / Reinier de Graaf

“The Community” might be the most frequently used term over the last 50 years of Architectural and Urban discourse. For decades, “the community” has served as a legitimization for anything from Team X to , from Celebration to “”. But what is “the community”? Where should we look for the proper definition? How did communities appear in the past and how do they form today? Can ‘the community” influence the design of its own space, territory or context? If yes, what could be the relationship between the community and architecture in the future?

In his Strelka talk Reinier de Graaf is trying to answer these and other, even more complex questions.

Via the Strelka Institute.

Construction begins on OMA’s Bryghusprojektet in Copenhagen

Courtesy of

OMA has broke ground on a 27,000 square meter, mixed-use development on the banks of Copenhagen’s historic waterfront in the culturally rich Slotsholmen district. Upon its completion in early 2017, Bryghusprojektet will become the new headquarters for the Danish Architecture Centre (), while also providing housing, offices, retail, a restaurant, and an urban park. These programs will be stacked over and under the busy Christians Brygge, providing city dwellers direct and uninterrupted access to the water’s edge.

OMA Partner-in-charge Ellen van Loon explained: “Instead of stacking a mixed-use program in a traditional way, we positioned the DAC in the centre of the volume, surrounded by and embedded within its objects of study: housing, offices and parking. The urban routes reach into the heart of the building and create a broad range of interactions between the different program parts and the urban environment.”

More images and the architects’ description after the break…

OMA Proposes Radical Redevelopment Plan for the Miami Beach Convention Center

Aerial from SW; Courtesy of OMA

South Beach ACE just unveiled their master plan for the redevelopment of the Convention Center site. Currently in a battle with BIG and Portman CMC for the right to overhaul the 52-acre site, national developer Tishman, international architecture firm OMA, international firm TVS, and Miami Beach developer UIA Management comprise the South Beach ACE team. The vision involves bringing to life one of Miami Beach’s most underutilized public sites with a fully-revamped convention center capable of luring major events from around the world, an iconic hotel, inviting green spaces, low-density retail uses, and cultural venues. 

More images and the team’s description after the break…

A Crash Course on Modern Architecture (Part 2)

High Line, New York, is a good example of what is to come. Image © Iwan Baan

Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup is associate Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. This article originally appeared in GRASP.

Miss Part 1? Find it here.

Architecture is inseparable from planning, and the huge challenge for the current generation is the growth and shrinkage of . Some , mainly in the Southern Hemisphere, are growing at exponential rates, while former global hubs in the northern are turning into countrysides. In the south, populations are still growing a lot, while populations are dwindling in Europe, and North East Asia. The dream of the Bilbao effect was based on the hope that there might be a quick fix to both of these problems. Well, there is not.

A decade ago, few people even recognized this was a real issue and even today it is hardly ever mentioned in a political context. As a politician, you cannot say out loud that you have given up on a huge part of the electorate, or that it makes sense for the national economy to favor another part. Reclaiming the agricultural part of a nation is a political suicide issue whether you are in Europe or Latin America. And investing in urban development in a few, hand-picked areas while other areas are desolate is equally despised.

The one person, who is consistently thinking and writing about this problem, is Rem Koolhaas, a co-founder of OMA.

OMA to Masterplan Southern Neighborhood of Bordeaux

Courtesy of OMA

In order to accommodate the expansion of the local tram system, La Fabrique Métropolitaine de la Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux has commissioned OMA to design a new major urban development in the southern district of Bordeaux, . Over the next five years, the will regenerate the neighborhoods of Bègles and Villenave d’Ornon by forging new connections to Bordeaux’s central station and unlocking the potential for both city development and public space.

This project is part of the new identity for the “Porte Sud de Bordeaux” (Bordeaux south gate) and continues OMA’s intensive recent engagement in Bordeaux, as the office has been working since 2010 on the masterplan for 50,000 new housing units in the city.

More on OMA’s Bordeaux masterplan after the break…

Best Architect-Designed Products of Milan Design Week 2013

Tools for Life / OMA © Ilan Rubin

This week at the 52nd edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in , over 2,500 exhibitors showcased an endless collection of the latest international products and home-furnishing designs. Among them included a variety of elegant and intelligently designed items envisioned by some of our favorite architects. Continue after the break to scroll through a list of the best architect-designed products featured at the Design Week 2013.

Coach Omotesando Flagship / OMA

© Iwan Baan

Architects: OMA
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Partner In Charge:
Project Architect: Rami Abou Khalil
Team: Yolanda do Campo, Benedict Clouette with Jackie Woon Bae, Cass Nakashima, Phillip Poon, David Theisz
Area: 444.75 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Iwan Baan

Architects Selected for Competition to Design Nobel Prize’s New Home

Blasieholmen at Nybroviken in . Image © Jeppe Wikström

Out of 140 architects considered, 12 architects have been selected by the Nobel Foundation to compete to design their new home, a Nobel Center in Blasieholmen, Stockholm. The conspicuously European selection, chosen for their “design and artistic abilities and experience working in intricate urban environments,” includes some very big names – including BIG, David Chipperfield Architects, Herzog & de Meuron, and . The only non-Europeans to compete will be SANAA’s Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.

See the full list of competitors, and more information on the competition, after the break…

Fashion Retailer Commissions OMA to Convert Venice Palazzo

Courtesy of

Both Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright can be found on a lengthy list of architects who have tried to build in Venice and lost their battle to conservationists. However, OMA has broke through this barrier, as the practice was recently approved – after five years pending – to go forth with a project to renovate a 16th century palazzo for the fashion retailer Benetton near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal.

More details and statements from the architect after the break…

Lecture: Designing an Institute for Performance Art

YouTube Preview Image

Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) recently held a lecture featuring performance artist Marina Abromović alongside principle Shohei Shigematsu in the anticipation of the Marina Abromović Institute for the Preservation of Performing Art (MAI) 2014 opening. In the lecture, Shigematsu speaks about the process in which they transformed a former theater in Hudson, New York, into a structure that’s capable of assisting the institute’s mission to develop new kinds of performance, while functioning as a space for preserving and hosting historic performance pieces. Shigematsu references OMA’s history of designing spaces that combine architecture and art, such as the Quebec National Museum and a recent collaboration with Kanye West.

More on this discussion after the break…

OMA Masterplans Airport City in Qatar

Courtesy of

After winning an international competition, OMA has been commissioned to a new 10km2 Airport City for a population of 200,000, linking the new Hamad International Airport with the city of Doha, Qatar. OMA’s is a series of four circular districts along a spine parallel to the HIA runways, intended to create a strong visual identity and districts with unique identities. Phase One of the 30-year , which links airside and landside developments for business, logistics, retail, hotels, and residences, will be mostly complete in time for the 2022 World Cup, hosted by Qatar.

Rem Koolhaas commented: “We are delighted and honored to participate in the exciting growth of Doha, in a project that is perhaps the first serious effort anywhere in the world to interface between an international airport and the city it serves.”

More on OMA’s airport city after the break…