OMA has won a masterplanning competition for the redevelopment of the Scalo Farini and San Cristoforo sites, two disused railway yards north and south of the periphery of Milan. Led by OMA’s Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli and Reinier de Graaf, and co-designed with Laboratorio Permanente, the “Agenti Climatici” scheme revolves around concepts of ecological filters and adaptable development. The OMA scheme triumphed over finalists including Baukuh, Arup, Grimshaw, and Kengo Kuma.
Oma: The Latest Architecture and News
The University of Illinois at Chicago has announced the shortlist to design a new $95 million Center of the Arts for the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts. Chosen from 36 teams, the shortlist includes OMA with KOO Architects, Johnston Marklee with UrbanWorks, and Morphosis with STL Architects. The new center will include a 500-seat concert hall, a 270-seat reconfigurable theater, an exhibition hall, rehearsal spaces, and a combination cafe and jazz club. The 88,000-square-foot building will be primarily used by the UIC’s School of Theatre & Music as the new public face of UIC’s East Campus.
As part of Milan’s Salone del Mobile, Knoll has presented an exhibition celebrating the centenary of the Bauhaus, curated and designed by OMA / Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli with Domitilla Dardi. The story, presented at Knoll’s showroom at Piazza Bertarlelli, is told by means of four clusters that encourage people to participate.
Where does originality and independent thinking come from? The answer is prosaically straight forward – from an inquiring individual, and an experimental environment wouldn’t hurt to stimulate it. Rem Koolhaas is credited with fostering such an environment, both through building his practice, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), a 300-architect network of seven global offices, and teaching at Harvard’s GSD, as well as lecturing all over the world. Koolhaas now has eight partners. One of the eight, since 2008, is Shohei Shigematsu who heads OMA New York since 2006. The studio originally numbered just a handful of people and over the years has grown into a large practice of 75 architects with a focus on projects in North America.
Born in 1973, in Fukuoka, Japan, Shigematsu likes to point out that his birth coincided with the moment when Japan’s economy started to decline. Still, the post-war generation of his parents believed that the economy was going to grow and keep modernizing. It did, and the process was very integral with new construction, so architecture was of interest from an early age. When Shigematsu was ten, his father was invited to teach science at an American university. That presented an opportunity for the whole family to spend one year in Boston, which also contributed to Shigematsu’s decision to study architecture. We met for the following conversation at OMA New York to discuss the architect’s role in the company, his search for personal identity, and, of course, architecture’s top priority – its concern with beauty.
Construction has begun on OMA’s pyramid-shaped mixed-use building – Xinhu Hangzhou Prism – which forms the heart of Hangzhou’s Future Tech City in the new Technology Central Business District (CBD). Led by the firm's partner Chris van Duijn, the project is commissioned by Zhejiang Xinhu Haichuang Group.
OMA, led by the firm’s partner Jason Long, has designed two towers at Greenpoint Landing in Brooklyn, New York. The towers, in conjunction with a lower seven-story building, will offer 745 housing units (30% of which are affordable) and over an acre of new public space for the neighborhood. As OMA New York’s first ground-up building in Brooklyn, the scheme will serve as “a catalyst in the transformation of the waterfront from a post-industrial edge to an accessible and dynamic part of the neighborhood.
The two towers, extending Eagle Street and Dupont Street, expand the existing waterfront esplanade, incorporating 2.5 acres of public open space along the shoreline, and 8,600 square feet of ground-floor retail. Manifesting as two dancers, the towers simultaneously lean into and away from each other. While the taller tower widens towards the east as it rises, its partner steps back from the waterfront to create a series of large terraces.
OMA and Inside Outside have collaborated on the design of a vast monument in Dubai, titled “Ethar – Honoring Generosity.” The installation consists of a field of 1,680 triangular-shaped recycled aluminum columns arrayed like a magnetic field, engraved with stories from Arabic scholars, scientists, and thinkers.
The installation was designed to celebrate the “unique culture of charitable giving in the United Arab Emirates with a physical installation that is part of the urban landscape of Dubai.” Designed for a site on Jumeirah Beach, the monument’s character can also be adapted for various contexts, whether dispersed throughout the city or appearing in key urban locations as a symbol of Emirati culture.
For this year's Women in Architecture Awards, The Architectural Review and the Architects’ Journal have selected Sheila O’Donnell as Architect of the Year and Xu Tiantian to win the Moira Gemill Prize for Emerging Architecture in the 2019 Women in Architecture awards. The Architect of the Year award recognizes excellence in design specifically in the context of a recently completed project and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture is awarded to women designers under the age of 45 who show design excellence indicative of a bright future.
Renowned auction house Sotheby’s has unveiled a dramatic OMA/Shohei Shigematsu-designed expansion and re-imagination of their New York City headquarters. Together with OMA Associate Christy Cheng, Shigematsu has redesigned the headquarters to include vast new exhibition galleries for fine art, precious objects, luxury goods, and more. Comprising 40 galleries of varying size across four floors, the new space will increase Sotheby’s exhibition space from 67,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet.
In the proposal, nine galleries will facilitate discreet private sales for dedicated small objects such as watches and jewelry. Three two-story spaces will be set aside for exhibitions, along with a 150-foot-long space for full collections, according to The New York Times. The new space will include “dynamic repertoire” of "spatial conditions", including a white cube, double height, enfilade, corridor cascade, octagonal, and an L-shaped space.
The OMA / Reinier de Graaf-designed Nhow Amsterdam RAI Hotel has topped out at its 91-meter height. The main hotel for the RAI Amsterdam convention and exhibition center, the scheme will offer 650 hotel rooms across 25 floors. Formed of three shifting triangular volumes, the scheme draws from a triangular advertising column on the Europaplein that once stood prominently on the site.
OMA was chosen ahead of eleven practices to design the project, which will operate as a hub for business travelers, tourists, and Amsterdam locals. The project has been 15-years in the making, as a larger 800-room proposal was once rejected by the city a few years back.
Farshid Moussavi Architecture has won a competition to design the first Ismaili Center in the United States. To be built in Houston, Texas on an 11-acre site along the Buffalo Bayou, the project will be completed with with AKT II, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and DLR Group. The team beat out a shortlist including David Chipperfield Architects, OMA and Studio Gang. As the seventh center built worldwide, the building will be a cultural and religious space for Houston’s Ismaili Muslim community.
They say diversity is key for a strong portfolio. Now OMA's Rem Koolhaas can add “featured artist on a musical album” to his resume. New York-based duo Tempers, in collaboration with German artist Katja Eichinger, feature Koolhaas in a mall-themed concept album.
This edition of a+u introduces the 23 recent works of architecture and technology that emerged from their relationship with the urban structure or the development history. In this issue, we focus our attention on the process of conceiving and realizing the projects driven by various motivations and tactics. We invite readers to look beyond the confinement of a single building and examine the works on their possibilities to be in use for a long time.
Presenting architects in conversation with creative figures, Architecture Foundation’s headline annual lecture in collaboration with the Barbican will see architect Sam Jacob in conversation with Dutch visual artist Madelon Vriesendorp.
New photographs have been released of OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center (TPAC), as construction continues in Taiwan. Consisting of three theaters, each functioning autonomously of each other, the OMA scheme seeks to depart from the traditional consensus of performing arts centers as simply containing a large auditorium, medium-sized theater, and small-size black box.
OMA sees “no excuse for contemporary stagnation,” using the TPAC as an opportunity to experiment with the inner workings of theaters, leading to a dynamic external presence. Hence, the TPAC’s three theaters plug into a central cube combining stages, backstages, and support spaces into a single, efficient entity, allowing stages to be modified or merged for unforeseen scenarios.
OMA has released images and plans for the new Feyenoord Stadium at the Maas. Feyenoord will set up a new multi sports club for the residents of Rotterdam Zuid, as OMA designed the masterplan after reaching initial city approval in 2016. The 63,000 stadium will rise along the river as the largest football stadium in the Netherlands. The stadium features a perfect bowl shape formed by continuous curved tiers in close proximity to the pitch, and will feature a main concourse with views into the stadium across the Rotterdam skyline.
This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "In His Latest Residential Building, OMA's Reinier de Graaf Doesn't Practice What He Preaches".
Last month in Stockholm, OMA partner Reinier de Graaf took a not-so-sly swipe at Bjarke Ingels: “I’m not a reincarnation of Harry Potter,” he said to a packed lecture theater at Stockholm’s KTH University.
With the extensive list of acclaimed alumni of his firm, OMA, it is not a stretch to call Rem Koolhaas (born 17 November 1944) the godfather of contemporary architecture. Equal parts theorist and designer, over his 40-year career Koolhaas has revolutionized the way architects look at program and interaction of space, and today continues to design buildings that push the capabilities of architecture to new places.