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”.
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:
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have unveiled five shortlisted proposals for the new £90 million Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS) in London’s Aldwych. The competition, which has attracted designs from the likes of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and OMA, will be the school’s “biggest ever building project” and is set to “transform” the world-leading institution. Other entrants include Hopkins Architects, Grafton Architects, and Henegham Peng Architects. See the anonymous proposals after the break…
In July the Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s (OMA) competition proposal for a mixed-use development in the heart of downtown Santa Monica was recommended by City Council members after they “seemed genuinely wowed by OMA’s theatrically-terraced design.” City officials have since voted to re-evaluate the recommendation over concerns of a lack of affordable housing in the development, as well as issues “related to design [and] economics.” They have also invited Related California, a team comprising of BIG, Koning Eizenberg Architecture, and Rios Clementi Hale Studios, to revise its original proposal that was shortlisted in March of this year.
OMA (NY), along with local collaborators Gomez + Castro Arquitectos, has been selected to masterplan the Bogotá Centro Administrativo Nacional (CAN) in Colombia, a mixed-use civic center roughly the size of Washington DC’s National Mall. Located at the midpoint of Calle 26 Avenue, the city’s main axis that has symbolically charted its growth from the historic downtown to the airport and the international gateway of Colombia, CAN will serve as a new city center and government headquarters with additional programs of residential, educational, retail and cultural developments.
Shohei Shigematsu, director-in-charge of OMA New York, commented, “Our proposal enables CAN to be a lively node, providing a continuous public domain that curves through the site to connect the park, the university and Calle 26. With a single gesture, the arc achieves a clear urban identity while accommodating programmatic diversity.”
New York-based, Serbian-born performance artist Marina Abramović has successfully secured funding via Kickstarter for phase one of an interdisciplinary performance and education center in Hudson, New York. The project, known as the Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art (MAI), aims to be the first crowdfunded cultural institution ever to be built as well as the only international arts center dedicated to presentation and preservation of long-durational work. With the help of Abramović’s “global community of collaborators,” OMA will now move forward with the project’s design development process. More information on the MAI’s design can be found here.
Marina Abramovic, one of the most seminal performance artists of our time, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the transformation of an abandoned New York theater into an interdisciplinary performance and education center: Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI).
The institute, designed by Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas of OMA, will be dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work. Visitors will spend a minimum of six hours partaking in the Abramovic Method, a method that helps participants “develop skills for observing long durational performances through a series of exercises and environments designed to increase awareness of their physical and mental experience in the moment.” Needless to say, MAI will be unlike any other institute in existence.
A virtual tour of OMA’s design and more information after the break…
OMA*AMO (New York), Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura (Barcelona), and Stoss Landscape Urbanism (Boston) with SHoP (New York) have been selected as the top three teams to re-envision Dallas’s urban center and its connection to the Trinity River Corridor. The teams kickstarted the final leg of the competition this past weekend with a summer workshop, symposium and site visit alongside local developers and city officials. All three final proposals will be unveiled to the public this mid-October with a lecture series host by each team (dates and information here). A winner is expected to be selected shortly after.
While the final products of OMA’s oeuvre are well-documented and widely published, a large portion of the Dutch firm’s work goes unrecognized and relatively unnoticed: the contextual, solution-oriented research undertaken by AMO. OMA’s lesser-known twin, AMO is vital to OMA’s approach, allowing the firm to delve into a world of context and explore possibilities beyond the built form.
It was with this in mind that we sat down with Reinier de Graaf, a partner at the firm. In addition to the building and masterplan projects he also manages on the OMA side of things, de Graaf has been the director of AMO since 2002, overseeing a diverse portfolio of projects. Over the past few years, AMO’s energies have fueled the creation of the curriculum at Strelka; a “roadmap” for a de-carbonized power grid for the EU; and an exhibition that celebrated the architect as civil servant.
From our very first question (what is OMA’s mission?), de Graaf answered with his characteristic aversion to “general terms,” explaining that “[OMA's] mission is to explore unexpected subjects [...] without a preconceived mission.”
Santa Monica’s City Staff has recommended OMA’s competition proposal for a mixed-use development in the heart of downtown Santa Monica. The building and surrounding plaza incorporates a civic plaza, cultural venue, retail, residences, offices and a boutique hotel. The City Staff selection panel praised OMA’s project for its iconic architecture and flexibility, saying it would “easily accommodate potential design modifications and adjust to market demand changes in the future.” Santa Monica’s City Council will review the recommendation on August 27th before the project formally proceeds in 2014.
The proposal’s plazas and terraces will add over 55,000 square feet of programmable open space. A cultural venue will sit inside of the building, anchored by office spaces for Santa Monica and greater Los Angeles’ growing tech industry. The project will be led by OMA’s New York office, headed by Shohei Shigematsu. He explained, “Our design provides residents, tourists, and entrepreneurs a dynamic new public realm – a stepped building that achieves a strong interaction between interior program and exterior environments.”
More images and information after the break…
After months of competition, debate, and quite a fair share of controversy (from the Miami politiicans that is), OMA and South Beach ACE have beaten BIG to win the Miami Beach Convention Center masterplan.
Despite the last-ditch efforts of the Miami politicians to keep the drama going (including a presentation on the supposed superiority of the BIG plan, due to time-sensitivity and cost-efficiency) and even the surprising revelation that negotiations with the teams had been taped (we assume to monitor corruption, as accusations of back-handed deals have haunted the vote), the Miami Commissioners approved the South Beach ACE team over the Portman-CMC team (with BIG) in a five to two vote.
The 52 acre mixed-used development will not only include an iconic new convention center and hotel, but will revitalize this underutilized area of Miami Beach with a network of undulating, green spaces that integrate into Miami’s urban fabric. As OMA Partner-in-charge of the project, Shohei Shigematsu, and Rem Koolhaas said in a statement: “We are thrilled to be chosen to develop one of the most significant urban districts in the US. Our design will reintegrate Miami’s vital convention center with its neighbors, offering new facilities as well as amplifying the character of this exciting city.”
Last month we interviewed Shohei Shigematsu about the Miami Project. Check out that interview, as well as a short video of the proposal itself, after the break…
Construction has begun on OMA’s competition-winning proposal for the BMVR (Bibliothèque Multimédia à Vocation Régionale) Library in northern France. Located at the tip of a peninsula in an old industrial port area of Caen, the 13,000 square meter public library is shaped by four protruding wings that point towards four of the city’s landmarks: l’Abbaye aux Hommes, l’Abbaye aux Dames, the train station to the south and a new urban development to the west.
More on BMVR after the break…
OMA, BIG and their partnering developers have until later today to decide whether they want to alter their plans for the Miami Beach Convention Center or walk away from the competition entirely.
The city was supposed to choose between OMA’s or BIG’s proposals, which have been in the pipeline for months, in the next few weeks. However, according to the World Property Channel, the city has now – in a disappointing turn of events – decided that the $1.1 billion project should be radically downsized by removing the residential units and cutting down retail space.
It’s a reversal that will, in the words of Kevin Brass in his must-read opinion piece, remove ”the opportunity for creativity and vision. Taking out the ambition won’t make it a better project, only a smaller project. Miami Beach is providing a textbook example of how not to create a great urban space.”
Story via World Property Channel
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 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…
Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas 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 Russia; 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.
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.