Sebastian van Damme
The challenges associated with the provision of adequate and affordable housing around the world demand that architects respond with original solutions that challenge traditional building forms, typologies and methods of delivery.
In recognition of this demand, last month’s World Architecture Festival in Berlin chose housing as its thematic focus. The festival made headlines with Patrik Schumacher’s inflammatory keynote speech that called for cities to be turned over entirely to market forces, scrapping social housing and privatizing all public space. The controversy that followed belied the diversity of the discourse on housing at the Festival and the presentation of innovative architectural responses to housing challenges.
This edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, explores London's new Design Museum – a significant expansion for the institution at an entirely new location in West London. The interior spaces of the former Commonwealth Institute Building in Kensington, which is Grade II-listed, have been renovated by John Pawson. Alongside the museum’s Deputy Director, Alice Black, the Monocle team investigate the thinking behind the relaunch and how the spaces are designed to accommodate a shifting audience.
This week, OMA has unveiled their latest project in London, Holland Green. Working alongside Allies & Morrison, the firm has created three new luxury residential buildings on a site of significant cultural importance: the former home of the Commonwealth Institute, designed by Sir Robert Matthew, one of the founding partners of RMJM. As a result, OMA and Allies & Morrison’s Holland Green project involved much more than just adding fuel to the fire of London’s booming luxury residential market—it also involved an extensive conversion to the original 1962 Commonwealth Institute exhibition hall, funded through the scheme’s profitable residential offering, to prepare the heritage building for its new tenants the Design Museum.
ArchDaily spoke with Reinier de Graaf, the partner in charge of the project at OMA, to discuss the development’s social aspirations, the challenges of the London context, and the story behind the project.
In the latest video from the youtube channel #donotsettle, architects Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost explore OMA’s recently opened Timmerhuis in Rotterdam. The duo compare the conceptual design and renderings to the finished building, look at the impact the new building is having on the cityscape, and with some good fortune find their way through some locked doors.
#Donotsettle was started to reconcile the disparity between film as architectural representation and as an experiential medium. For more #donotsettle, check out their youtube page, where they walk through the Markthal, designed by Rotterdam-based practice MVRDV and the train station in Delft, designed by Delft-based practice Mecanoo, among many other sites.