Monday, November 10, 2008

Iwan Baan in London

In OMA's case Iwan Baan is the one who goes where no one (holding a camera) has gone before, or will go after him for that matter (too late, the curtain wall has gone up). If you've seen the photos he took for OMA in Beijing (on his website), you know he's got what it takes to create lasting impressions even before the project is finished.
Note to Self and Every Other: When in London go see show.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rem Koolhaas Takes Seat in EU Council

What will the European Union be like between 2020 - 2030?
A council of wise (well sorry girls) men is going to think about and discuss the future of the EU.
Initiator of this gathering is the French president Nicolas Sarkozy. President Sarkozy's ulterior motive for a discussion about the borders of Europe is his own unwillingness to let Turkey join the EU.

Suggested members of the 'reflection' group are Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, Letland's former president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Finnish Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila, the Polish former president Lech Walesa and the Italian former EU commissary Mario Monti.
The former prime minister of Spain, Felipe Gonzalez will be the Chairman.

The group will report on the future in 2010.

Friday, September 19, 2008

OMA à La Défence

Draw a line on a map of Paris, from the Pyramid by I.M. Pei, and "Le Petit Arc du Carrousel" (in the gardens near the Louvre, Les Tuilleries) through the "Arc de Triomphe" to "La Grande Arche" by Von Spreckelsen and Andreu, in the northwest of Paris and you've got the "Grand Axe". The neighborhood at the end of the line, La Défense has mostly office buildings.

Rem Koolhaas presented a design proposal to revamp La Défense somewhere in Venice during the Biennial (see comment Piet Vollaard below)

Through November 23rd you can visit the Dutch submission to the 11th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennual, organized by the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi).

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Libraries for All

In 1998 the Seattle voters helped pass a bond measure Libraries for All, 196.4 million dollars to renovate 22 existing, and build 5 new branch libraries, as well as to design and build the new Central Library.
Rem Koolhaas co-founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and former Seattleite and then OMA partner Joshua Prince-Ramus were principal designers of the award-winning Central Library building, along with Seattle-based LMN Architects.

On Saturday September 13 the conclusion of the successful 10-year building period will be celebrated in all Seattle Public Libraries.

Rem Koolhaas was scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. in the Microsoft Auditorium, but his presentation has been cancelled.
Here's some old and more recent footage where you can see and hear him speak.

Joshua Prince-Ramus former OMA principle, and since 2006 president and co-founder (with Erez Ella) of REX will present the key note of day-long celebratory presentation in the Microsoft Auditorium (4th Avenue/ 1st floor entrance) at the Seattle Central Library, downtown.

Can't make it?
Read Joshua Prince-Ramus manisfesto or listen to him speak on TED

The presentation is co-sponsored by AIA Seattle.
Admission is free and open to the public.
The Central Library is located at 1000 Fourth Avenue.
For more information, call (206) 386-4636.

The Seattle Public Library Foundation and Friends of The Seattle Public Library ( co-sponsored by USbank) are issuing "passports" with photographs and information on all the libraries in the system. Patrons are encouraged to visit all of them, and if they do, they can collect stamps at each of the branches. Some of those who can show a fully stamped pass in January of 2009 may be eligible for a special gift!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

EU Quarter in Brussels

The Office of Metropolitan Architecture is one of five European firms chosen to present plans to redesign the EU Quarter, where offices of the European Union are located. The plans should include apartments, houses and shops.

OMA again in Rotterdam - Kaas van Koolhaas

Rotterdam was bombed during World War II and in rebuilding this world renowned harbor city somehow an anchoring center was omitted. When you arrive in Rotterdam by train, the first impression you get of the city is that it's relatively new. The street that runs parallel to the railroad and the one perpendicular to the Central Station are lined by large post war buildings and some towers. The boulevard straight ahead leads to a shopping center, a village style mall, built to replace what was destroyed during the war. The heart of the city is a replacement, and not more than that.

The architects of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture envision a cube that will fill in that architectural and emotional hole.
An anchoring structure that will return that certain central quality that a city of Rotterdam's proportions and importance needs.
The cube will find its foundation partially on top of existing buildings, and will show "holes" allowing for a connection between the interior and the city.

Only in Holland, where cheese cubes are the obligatory snack presented with wine and beer, a project of this size could be likened to a cube of cheese. So be it, Rotterdam will have "De Kaas van Koolhaas" (Cheese by (or of) Koolhaas).

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Seattle Central Public Library

The Seattle Central Public Library opened its doors to the public at the end of May 2004.
At the beginning of the following month volunteer library docents started guiding patrons through the building on general (focused on library functions) and architectural tours.
By the end of May 2008, it turned out that during the four years that the library had been open, 34,000 visitors signed up for a hike through the 11-story building (covering 10 floors, since Head Quarters on the 11th floor is off limit for patrons).
This number did not include all the tagalongs and unregistered tours.
The library of OMA and LMN became an important tourist draw, and continues to be part of the itinerary of many people visiting Seattle.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

OMA / AMO in Italy for PRADA

Imagine Milan, an industrial building renovated and expanded to create a home for the Prada Art Foundation.
More later…

According to Michael Kimmelman for the New York Times Magazine (3/23/2008) the PRADA ART FOUNDATION may be likened to New York City's DIA or Houston's Menil as far as being chic and slightly arcane. Arcane?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

OMA in Dubai

OMA presented the masterplan for a complete Waterfront City in Dubai.
The city, which will give a home to 400,000 people is going to be build up from the ground. Waterfront City will be the center of the man made island group called Dubai Waterfront that surrounds Jebel Ali.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

HafenCity Hamburg

image courtesy OMA
Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon have presented the design for the Science Center and Aquarium in Hamburg's HafenCity.
Playful in design, building blocks create an eyelet on edge. The building, a magic ring of activity in the harbor, permits an eye on the city, on the river, and on the future.
Marc Paulin will be the principle architect for this project.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Maggie's Centre

Rem Koolhaas will design a "home-away-from-home" for patients of the Beatson Oncology Center in Glasgow. Founded by and named after the late Maggie Keswick Jencks, the client, Maggie's Centre has in the past commissioned architects such as Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid