OMA Commissioned to Transform the Coastline of Paysandú, Uruguay

The Municipality of Paysandú commissioned OMA (Office of Metropolitan Architecture) to draw up the project for the urban transformation of Paysandú's waterfront. Covering an area of about 350 hectares, the Master Plan extends from the "General José Artigas" International Bridge, which links Paysandú with Argentina on the northern border, to the mouth of the Sacra Stream.

The China Central Television (CCTV) headquarters in Beijing, the Seattle Central Library and the Casa da Música in Porto are just some of the most outstanding works of the renowned Dutch architecture firm OMA, whose founding partner is Rem Koolhaas. Although OMA has been working in many countries around the world for 40 years with a team of 300 architects, researchers and designers, until now it had not landed in Latin America.

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Puente General Artigas sobre el Río Uruguay. Image via Wikipedia user: Alpertron. Licencia bajo CC BY-SA 3.0. Autor de la imagen: Dario Alpern

Under the premise of having a plan for the next 25 years, the Municipality of Paysandú decided to entrust OMA with the production of four main tasks. Firstly, the realisation of the conceptual "masterplan" of 350 hectares for the coast of Paysandú and secondly, the development of a more concentrated project within an area of 26 hectares where 80% of the land is public. In the words of the department's own mayor, Nicolás Olivera, it seems to be an area with "potential for real estate development, but also where universities, hotels, etc. can be built". It is worth noting that the location of the space to be intervened will be determined in conjunction with the municipal government.

"We are very excited to work on Paysandu's relationship with its river and can't wait to start working with the mayor and the other people involved," said Rem Koolhaas.

In addition, the remaining tasks involve the schematic design of a 3.5 hectare quality public space in the Obelisk area and the design of a functional and distinctive landmark building for a specific use, to be defined together with the City Hall's technical team. Koolhaas said: "We always try to make our projects open and connected to the city".

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Rem Koolhaas. Image © OMA / Dominik Gigler

Jason Long, project director and OMA partner, is expected to arrive in the city in early March with the OMA team, in order to carry out the necessary surveys to deliver the work within a defined period of six months. Together with the Municipality's technicians, the idea is that they can work together in an open-door process with the participation of different shareholders of society, such as representatives of the University of the Republic. Long mentioned that OMA's philosophy is precisely "to work with cities that need new things, but always respecting what already exists".

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Cite: Iñiguez, Agustina. "OMA Commissioned to Transform the Coastline of Paysandú, Uruguay" [OMA recibe el encargo de transformar la costa de Paysandú, Uruguay] 26 Mar 2022. ArchDaily. (Trans. Pérez Bravo, Amelia) Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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