HASSELL, OMA, and Populous To Redevelop Sydney Harbour

International Convention Center (ICC), view from the water. Image © SICEEP

Australian firm HASSELL Studio, and Populous have been announced as the winners for the redevelopment of Sydney’s new convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct (SICEEP) at Darling Harbour.

The 20-hectare, billion dollar project, which will stretch from Cockle Bay to Haymarket and Ultimo, will include ’s largest convention and exhibition facilities, Sydney’s largest red carpet entertainment venue,  a hotel complex with up to 900 rooms, and a new urban neighborhood in Haymarket.

More on this project, after the break…

The architect at work: 425 Park Ave

YouTube Preview Image

A few months ago we informed you about a competition to re develop the massive “wedding-cake” style building at 425 Park Ave in NY, near Mies’ Seagram Building and SOM’s Lever House. The objective of the developer, L&L Holding, was to turn this project into the next iconic building of the city, and for that they invited a group of eleven renowned practices, including ten Pritzker laureates.

The shortlist was announced in October, and included , Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects and , which was later announced as the winner of the competition a few weeks ago.

Over the last days, the presentations of the architects to the clients appeared on YouTube, and now we have the opportunity to see these interesting group of architects doing a fundamental part of their work. In the videos we see each architect using their own presentation style, either a PPT, video or just physical boards, connecting it to the practice’s research and discourse, projecting their passion about certain features of their projects and engaging with the client around their main objective: to turn this into an iconic project.

Four videos that take us further into how we understand projects, showing insights that we often don’t have access to, turning the competition into a particular moment of architecture this year.

Zaha Hadid Architects, OMA and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners presentations after the break:

OMA’s Plans for “Iconic” Qatar National Library

Courtesy of Qatar National Library (http://www.qnl.qa/)

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser has announced the launch of the Qatar National Library (QNL), to be designed by Rem Koolhaas of .

The QNL, a public access library, will symbolically connect the country’s past and future. As her highness explained: “The library’s vision of bridging with knowledge Qatar’s heritage and future demonstrates the significant role QNL will play in unlocking human potential as Qatar builds a knowledge-based economy. A modern dynamic National Library for the country is essential in reaching this goal.”

As such, Rem Koolhass – an architect known both for his iconic structures as well as his success with the Seattle Public Library - has been hand-picked for the important design, soon to be, according to the QNL website, ”one of the most [...] iconic landmarks in Qatar and the region.” As a library on the cutting-edge of digital archiving, the building will require innovative facilities (including over 300 public computers, wifi and multi-media production studios); however, it will also serve the community as a relaxed, social gathering place.

More images of OMA’s plans for the Qatar National Library, after the break….

BIG and OMA Neck-to-Neck For Miami Beach Convention Center

Courtesy of Curbed Miami

High profile architects BIG (Bjarke Ingels) and OMA (Rem Koolhaas) are in a close battle to win the redevelopment competition for the design of the Miami Beach Convention Center. Recently put on hold by a corruption probe and procedural concerns, Miami Beach’s ambitious plans to create a 52-acre convention center district are again progressing toward a crucial vote by elected officials. The committee’s recommendations will be reviewed by interim City Manager Kathie Brooks, who will issue her own recommendation to city commissioners. Commissioners could vote on the project and development teams Dec. 12. More information after the break.

OMA’s Maggie’s Gartnavel wins 2012 Doolin prize

© Nick Turner

The RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) has announced OMA as the tenth recipient of the prestigious Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for the firm’s “welcoming, light and spacious” design of ’s Gartnavel in Glasgow.

Serving as an exemplar for alternative healthcare design, OMA’s single story composition for the cancer care center laces together a series of interlocking rectangular spaces that form around a lush courtyard. Transparent walls of the building’s light-filled interior promenade connect patients directly to nature, as the building accommodates for the complex needs of the facility by providing spaces of interaction, personal privacy, and discrete counseling rooms, along with private nooks and corners. A notable characteristic of Maggie’s Gartnavel is the rich use of materials, from the flush inlaid timber and concrete ceiling to the simplistic concrete exterior and expansive floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

OMA generously donated their £25,000 prize to the Maggie’s Cancer Care Center.

More images after the break…

Video: Ellen van Loon, Architect Profile


is an architect at the forefront of her field. Alongside six partners, including Koolhaas and Reinier de Graaf, her work at the Dutch architecture practice, OMA, has encompassed some of the most iconic modern buildings in the world, including the award-winning Casa da Musica in Portugal. Two of her projects, The Rothschild Bank headquarters and Maggie’s Centre near Glasgow, were recently nominated for the RIBA Stirling Prize. She joined the practice in 1998 to lead the design for the headquarters of Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Her specific expertise lie in the balance of business acumen and an in-depth understanding of all technical and operational aspects. Here we profile Ellen, with The Rothschild Bank as a backdrop, learning about the strong bond that forms between architect and building.

425 Park Avenue: OMA’s proposal

View from Pepsi Cola Building © Courtesy of

OMA has shared with us their proposal for the 425 Park Avenue competition, organized by New York City developer L&L Holding Co to replace the existing, ageing tower with a new state-of-the-art, LEED-certified skyscraper. The competition was awarded to Foster + Partners, as reported earlier.

The competition also included Atelier Christian de Portzamparc, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Meuron, KPF, Maki and Associates, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Richard Meier, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Architects; and all the projects will be presented today at the MAS NY Summit.

OMA’s project was led by partners Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas. Shohei is in charge of the NY office, where he has been researching strategies for towers in NY and other areas, including a skyscraper in Madison Park, a mixed-use project in Jersey and the  Bicentennial Tower in Mexico.

More information after the break:

100 years under the Dome : 1912-2012

Festival de la mode, David Lachapelle, 1999 © Archives

Beginning on October 16th, 2012, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, France, will be celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Dome designed by architect and glass artist Jacques Gruber in 1912.  100 years under the Dome will be held at the flagship store of the boulevard Haussmann, a true Parisian symbol.  In addition, the gallery will launch an exhibition called 1912-2012. Chronicles of a Creative Itinerary by architect Rem Koolhaas and his studio OMA, along with a collaboration called Chrysalide between visual artist Yann Kersalé and Djuric Tardio – Architectes.

Join us after the break for more stunning images for the anticipated celebration.

National Art Museum of China competition entry / OMA

© OMA (15)
© OMA

OMA has shared with us their proposal for the new National Art Museum of (NAMOC) in Beijing. The Rotterdam-based practice is one of the all-star contenders competing to design the 1.3 million square feet NAMOC that will be built next to the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Bird’s Nest. Even though rumors are flying about a potential winner, the jury won’t announce the final results of the competition until November.

Given the epic proportions of the NAMOC, OMA has chosen to treat the massive structure as a small by integrating a variety of -like districts throughout. The proposal includes a range of experiences in both “classical, orthogonal” museum spaces as well as contemporary, open-plan areas. Continue after the break to learn more.

OMA wins competition for new engineering school in France

Entrance from the metro station – Image courtesy of OMA

OMA has been selected from four competing international architectural practices to design the new École Centrale engineering school and its surrounding urban development in the research and innovation zone of Saclay, southwest of Paris.

Spearheaded by Clément Blanchet, director of OMA projects in , the winning “lab ” concept contrasts the corridor linearity of the typical laboratory. The design proposes a low level, glass-roofed superblock that contains an interior open plan grid, where various activities can interact and be overlooked simultaneously. Continue after the break to learn more.

Venice Biennale 2012: Public Works, Architecture by Civil Servants / OMA

© Nico Saieh

“Forty years ago the public cause proved a powerful source of inspiration.  Given the numbers of architects that chose to serve it, one might even speak of a common ground. In the age of the ‘starchitect’, the idea of suspending the pursuit of a private practice in favor of a shared ideology seems remote and untenable. In the context of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, this exhibition hopes to provide a small contribution towards finding that common ground once more…” – OMA Partner Reinier de Graaf, August 2012

Throughout Europe in the late 1960s and early 1970s, large public works departments employed architects to design a multitude of public buildings in an effort to serve the public cause. Reinier de Graaf describes this “heyday of public architecture” as “a short-lived, fragile period of naïve optimism – before the brutal rule of the market economy became the common denominator.”

Koolhaas to be the Biennale’s next Director?

OMA Koolhaas © Dominik Gigler

Hot on the heels of the Jencks Award, yet another accolade is rumored to be coming Rem Koolhaas‘ way. The claims are flying about the twitterverse: OMA’s Koolhaas will be the next Director of the Venice Biennale.

Dezeen first reported the story after reading a tweet by the Biennale’s current Assistant Director to David Chipperfield, Kieran Long (Long’s also the architecture critic for ’s Evening Standard as well as the former Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Review/The Architect’s Journal). You can read the tweet for yourself below:

Of course, it’s all still rumors at this point, but we’ll keep you updated of any developments in the story.

Story via Dezeen

 

OMA’s Reinier de Graaf talks Megalopoli(tic)s

OMA partner Reinier de Graaf explores the relationship between the megalopolis and politics at the Berlage Institute, where he conducted a one-week masters class devoted to the concept of Megalopoli(tic)s – “a very large ambitious political structure dealing especially with the act of governing complex metropolitan areas”.

De Graaf begins by stating we must “think globally”. In 1950, New York and were the only cities with more than 8 million inhabitants. Currently, there are 26 cities of over 8 million people and by 2020 there will be 37. In terms of population and GDP, countries have been surpassed by cities and cities have been surpassed by corporations. De Graaf states that the is the physical manifestation of globalization, and as cities continue to rapidly grow, it is imperative that we question the logistics that go into governing them.

Imagine Doxiadis’ global Ecumenopolis city (1967) that depicts the city as no longer a product of nations but rather a international product, which he envisioned as a conglomerate of urbanized regions straddling the world.

OMA reimagines retail for Coach’s new stores

Coach Omotesando Conceptual ©

American retailer Coach has commissioned OMA to develop a new merchandising system that accommodates Coach’s wide diversity of products while returning to the clarity of Coach’s heritage stores. Since establishing its first workshop 1941, Coach has expanded from a specialist leather atelier to a global distributor of “democratized luxury goods”. This expansion has clouded the clarity of the brand’s original library-like stores, which used a rigorous organizational system that categorically sort projects inside minimal wooden shelving at assisted counters. OMA intends to create a flexible, modular system that embodies the clarity of the original stores and responds to the individual needs of locale.

Continue reading for more. 

OMA Appointed To Revamp London’s Morden Wharf

Courtesy of

OMA announced today that they have been appointed as the masterplanners and lead architects of a mixed-use development in London. Morden Wharf, a 19 acre regeneration site on Greenwich Peninsula, will become a 2 million square foot “premier entertainment zone.”

Reinier de Graaf, the partner who will be leading the project with , said, “Our Vision for Morden Wharf adds value to an already impressive site through regeneration of existing buildings and infrastructure which will attract visitors and residents to the sites cultural, residential, leisure, and commercial offerings. We look forward to the development of an innovative proposal which will enhance Morden Wharf’s exceptional character.”

Check out OMA’s press release after the break…

Four Pritzker-Prize winners to submit conceptual designs for new office tower in Manhattan

CCTV/OMA Partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, designers, David Gianotten, photographed by Iwan Baan

L&L Holding Company, LLC, today announced that four of the world’s most acclaimed architecture firms – Foster + Partners (Lord Norman Foster), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (Lord Richard Rogers), OMA (Rem Koolhaas) and Zaha Hadid Architects – are participating this week in the conceptual design phase of its architectural competition for a new office tower to be constructed at 425 Park Avenue in Manhattan.

In April of this year, L&L Holding invited 11 of the world’s most accomplished architects to express their interest in competing for the commission to design a new tower at 425 Park Avenue. Of those invited, nine firms chose to enter the competition. After careful deliberations, L&L Holding narrowed its list to the four selected firms, each of which is led by a Pritzker Prize-winning architect with extensive international experience and proven expertise in office tower design.

The architects and their teams have prepared and are presenting their conceptual designs this week for a 650,000 square foot tower that will be designed to high L.E.E.D. sustainability standards.

Floriade 2022 proposal for Holland Central / OMA

Floriade Veiling – Image courtesy of

OMA has released their 60-hectare master plan proposal for Floriade 2022 – the next occurrence of Europe’s largest horticultural expo that attracts an average of two million international visitors every ten years since it was established in 1960, which is currently open in Venlo. As part of a team that includes the province of South Holland, eight local municipalities and ARCADIS, OMA is helping compete against three other cities within the Netherlands to become the next Floriade host.

Continue after the break to learn more.

Seattle Library: Homeless Man Interview Clips / Tomas Koolhaas

Earlier we shared with you these rough clips of the recently completed CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, filmed by Tomas Koolhaas as part of a feature length documentary film that he currently making about his father, Rem Koolhaas. In this short clip, Tomas Koolhaas interviews a homeless man inside the Seattle Central Library as an attempt to capture his unique experience within the and steel mesh walls of the famous public library.

Tomas Koolhaas studied at the Los Angeles Film School. Upon graduating, he spend ten years working as a cinematographer and has recently switched his focused more towards directing and writing. The documentary film, REM, is set to debut in 2013. Watch for updates here on the REM Facebook page.