Wednesday, October 05, 2005

OMA Designs for PCM 3 Major Newsrooms Under One Roof

In my interpretation of the latest news from OMA, Floris Alkemade, the principle architect on the PCM account, plays with language. Words materialized. Three major newspapers, De Volkskrant, Trouw and NRC will find a new home in a giant column on the outskirts of Amsterdam. A pillar, the perfect metaphor --extended conceit-- for newspaper journalists. In Dutch "pillar" is often used to describe the political or religious affiliation of the different media.

The base or pedestal will house public spaces: a book store, a cafe where journalists will meet, media meeting rooms and lobbies where students, who live in the neighborhood, can get together. A floor with a low threshold, bringing in the community. A classic column, including fluted grooves (cannula), the "pillar" of the media will house the offices of PCM, the umbrella corporation. Transparency and daylight will be important. But the choice of materials hasn't been made. The architrave or head of the column will house the editorial offices. In the existing offices of De Volkskrant, journalists closed the blinds, trying to keep the light out. The people in the news room want a certain amount of seclution, while interaction remains crucial.

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