Joshua Prince-Ramus (born 11th August, 1969) has made a significant mark as one of the most promising young architects working today. Named one of the five greatest architects under 50 in 2011 by The Huffington Post, Prince-Ramus made a name for himself as one of Rem Koolhaas' many protégés before forming his practice, REX, in 2006.
This post was originally published in The Architectural Review as "Size Doesn't Matter: Big Ideas for Small Buildings."
Taschen’s latest volume draws together the architectural underdogs that, despite their minute, whimsical forms, are setting bold new trends for design.
When economies falter and construction halts, what happens to architecture? Rather than indulgent, personal projects, the need for small and perfectly formed spaces is becoming an economic necessity, pushing designers to go further with less. In their new volume Small: Architecture Now!, Taschen have drawn together the teahouses, cabins, saunas and dollhouses that set the trends for the small, sensitive and sustainable, with designers ranging from Pritzker Laureate Shigeru Ban to emerging young practices.
Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX, together with Brookfield Properties unveiled today the $200 Million redevelopment of 450 West 33rd Street in New York. The 1.8 million-square-foot building will be integrated into the Manhattan West Development.
The architectural firm REX designed the redevelopment of Five Manhattan West, including a new pleated glass façade which will create floor‐to‐ceiling windows on every floor, maximizing daylight penetration while reducing solar gain through geometric 'self‐shading.' The interior program includes a redesigned lobby, upgraded and expanded elevators, and enhanced HVAC and other mechanical systems. New retail storefronts will provide a welcoming streetscape. The renovation is expected to be completed in 2016.
More details on the project after the break.
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...
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:
Four shortlisted teams have been asked to design proposals for a new central library in the Canadian city of Calgary. Selected from 38 submissions, the competing teams of local and international architects will harness the power of platemaking to envision a 280,000 square-foot “landmark” for the East Village Calgary.
YIBD ‘Project R6’, designed by REX, is an urban boutique residence for short-term business people, young urban professionals, and foreign residents in Seoul, South Korea. To meet the trends of its users and compensate for its small unit size, R6 must engender a strong sense of community and its residences must be highly attractive, providing generous views, daylight, and cross-ventilation. Maximizing daylight and cross-ventilation are also paramount to providing a highly sustainable residence. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architect: REX Location: Seoul, Korea Built Area: 115,500 sqm (1,240,000 sqf) Completion year: 2016 Program: 47,800 sqm of luxury housing for short-term residents, 27,000 sqm of retail, and 929 parking stalls Renderings: Luxigon and Rex
REX shared with us their proposal for two of China’s major financial institutions, CLC and MSFL, which chose to consolidate their new headquarters on a single site within Shenzhen’s CDB. Although the planning regulations permit tall buildings on the site, the maximum allowable building area and the proposed combination of offices and retail seemingly dictate a perfunctory tower-and-plinth scheme. Instead, CLC’s and MSFL’s offices are organized into two highly efficient blocks with: an ideal 9 meter distance between core and façade; an entirely flexible, column-free plan; the largest floor area allowed by code and urban design requirements; and an efficiency ratio of 80%. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Like many large scale projects around the country, REX’s Museum Plaza, in the city of Louisville, Kentucky, had just broken ground and had given light to many dreams for the downtown community when the nation’s financial crisis hit the city. Needless to say, financing came to a standstill and funding for the towers the city had been hoping for was no longer an option. Their current construction loan of $140.5 million, city contributions, bonds and funds already put forth by the team was not enough to proceed in their construction efforts until positive news came their way at the turn of the month. More images and description after the break.
Last month we shared with you the six designs from the shortlisted group for the future Victoria & Albert Museum in Scotland: Delugan Meissl Associated Architects / Kengo Kuma & Associates / REX / Snøhetta / Steven Holl Architects / Sutherland Hussey Architects The six designs are now on exhibition at the library of Abertay University on Bell Street in Dundee until November 4th. We now have more photographs and a short description of each proposal plus a video after the break.
Joshua Prince Ramus is one of the best architects I’ve meet, and also a very good speaker. I think most of you have already seen his presentation at TED back in 2006, where he presented the Seattle Central Library, a powerful talk on which he talked about the role of the architects in the process, as an editing/team approach rather than authorship. We interviewed Joshua back in 2008, where we first heard about his position regarding the separation of conception and execution on architecture, as architects became the “artists” leaving the execution to engineers, which can be seen on the first minutes of his talk at TEDx Dallas posted above, before explaining how the Wyly Theatre re interpreted the typical theatre programatic configuration.
We are back with our series of interviews. This time we had the chance to ask our usual set of questions to Joshua Prince-Ramus, founder of REX – Architecture PC. Previously, Prince-Ramus was the founding partner of OMA NY, where he was Partner in Charge of the Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas and the Seattle Central Library.
As of now, he has been developing one of the most interesting mix-use projects I have ever seen: The Museum Plaza in Luisville, Kentucky. He has also two ongoing projects, the Vakko headquarters in Turkey and the Wyly Theatre in Dallas.
This has been one of the most interesting interviews we have ever had. Joshua talked a lot on his approach to design and how to collaborate on a project.
But enough talk, just watch the interview – sorry for the audio, we are working to improve our interviews in the future.
After the break, some images of his practice.
This building reuses an existing structure to receive a new program, through the addition of a new complex core, that doesn´t end up like a parasite, rather than a whole.
The glass skin shows an innovative work, that results in a very light skin.
The Wyly Theatre in Dallas is almost finished. This project is very interesting, and REX/OMA show once again how designing a building goes way beyond that working on the volumes and the skin, but to rethink the program itself.
Anyone familiar with a theatre knows the program order hasn´t changed much, as it´s pretty much the same you find on Neufert. But REX/OMA take this a step further, by re-studying the program relations and adjacencies, resulting on a unique building. Perfect for the client, as the Dallas Theater Center (DTC) is recognized as one of the country’s few innovative theater companies located outside the triumvirate of New York, Chicago, and Seattle. On the top of that, an interesting aluminium skin adds to make this building unique.
The facade is being installed this days, opening expected during 2009.
Now, the architects description: