Posts tagged with "Office of Metropolitan Architecture":

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OMA updates Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) has upgraded its visual identity with a reorganized interior and a new facade by OMA’s Chris van Duijn. Since opening its doors 11 years ago, UCCA has become a center of the 798 Art District in Beijing, a cultural area that receives 5 million visitors per year but has long suffered from a lack of organization and an overall masterplan. Architects Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Qingyun Ma completed a full-scale renovation of the industrial spaces in 2007, but over the years, new architectural elements and patchwork renovations changed the original vision. OMA’s redesign is aimed at helping the museum recover its roots and create a distinctive sense of place.   To do this, the design team focused on first revealing the three mid-century factories in which the artwork was housed. They demolished later additions and then restructured the internal program.  Two major interventions were then made to enhance the museum’s transparency and engagement with the public. OMA created an informal auditorium that stretches from the inside to the exterior plaza and designed a thin glass veil facade. The wall lightly undulates and wraps around the auditorium, resembling a plastic sheath. According to OMA, the new “wrinkled geometries complement the formal appearance” of the original building, which is clad in red clay. “UCCA initially started as a pioneer in promoting Chinese contemporary art and has in the 11 years since become one of China’s leading institutes with a strong public relevance,” said Chris van Duijn, parter-in-charge of the project. “This current status is reflected in the new design through the public and dynamic character.” The project’s opening comes on the heels of OPEN Architecture’s recently-completed design for the UCCA Dune Art Museum, a satellite campus on China’s Gold Coast.
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OMA completes Brutalist-inspired tower in Stockholm

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The first of two new OMA-designed Brutalist-inspired towers, known as Norra Tornen, has officially been opened in Stockholm, Sweden. The 125-meter-tall residential tower is the tallest in the city, and when joined by its partner will act as a major gateway into the city.
  • Facade Manufacturer SCF Betongelement AB
  • Architects OMA
  • Facade Installer Havator
  • Facade Consultants Arup
  • Location Stockholm, Sweden
  • Date of Completion September 2018
  • System pre-cast concrete modules
  • Products Robotically bush hammered stone aggregate concrete panels
Formally and materially, the project is defined by 5,000 prefabricated panels, which also act as the main framework for the building. The “sandwich” panels include all the wall systems, including the windows, insulation, and exterior facade. This system, which is manufactured in Sweden, means that construction can happen at a breakneck speed, with new floors rising by the week. The facade is composed of robotically bush-hammered multi-colored stone aggregate concrete panels. From a distance, the tan concrete form of the building makes the Brutalist reference very clear. Upon closer inspection, the striated articulation of the concrete is highlighted by large pink, yellow, red, and brown aggregate embodied along the panels' ribs. Thanks to the pixelated form of the building, the facade’s surface area is greatly increased. This provides space for more windows, to capture as much fleeting Nordic sunlight as possible, as well as numerous recessed terraces for the temperate summers. It is also on these terraces that the finely finished facade can best be experienced. This articulation of form and choice of material ended up being the major architectural moves of the project, as the overall shape of the building was inherited by developer Oscar Properties from an earlier design by a city architect. OMA partner and lead designer of Norra Tornen, Reinier de Graaf was on hand for the opening of the building saying, “With a limited articulation of a given form, without breaking any rules, we were able to produce something that was quite different, quite surprising.” He continued to discuss the link between the industrial processes of building the prefabricated tower and its form. “It’s about repetition. It's about repeating one detail, in and out, and reversing it every other floor. And from the one repetitive industrial detail we can produce something highly varied.” When the second tower is completed next year the two towers will in some ways bring Brutalist architecture full circle. The term “Nybrutalism,” was first used in Sweden by famed local architect Hans Asplund in the 1950s and made famous by Reyner Banham. With the recent popularity of Brutalism in academic circles and preservation efforts around the world, it was only a matter of time before a major contemporary project be completed in the much-maligned style.
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Mia Lehrer selected to design L.A.’s FaB Park

The team led by Mia Lehrer and Associates (MLA), in partnership with Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and design innovation firm IDEO, was selected by the City of Los Angeles this morning to design the new $12 million public park located at the intersection of First and Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. MLA’s proposal for the so-called FaB Park utilizes a mix of meadows, gardens, and terraces packed with native plantings and mature oak trees to create a shady “California oaklands” landscape that can handle and capture all on-site stormwater for treatment and infiltration. The design also features a large, split-level structure with amphitheater seating designed by OMA that will be programmed by IDEO with public events focusing on food and entertainment. The structure injects a sizable commercial element into the scheme and features and associated beer garden and test kitchen. Towering, leaf-shaped shade structures dot the central plaza adjacent to the restaurant and amphitheater and aim to distribute shade across the unplanted portions of the scheme. The plaza will be accessed from a variety of approaches connecting to surrounding sidewalks, each of which frames one of the scheme’s signature gardens. A paseo will runs across the site from the corner of First and Broadway to Spring Street and City Hall and cuts through the plaza. The park aims to not only create place of respite in one of downtown’s most symbolic sites, but also to connect foot traffic between the Rios, Clementi, Hale Studios-designed Grand Park adjacent to FaB Park, City Hall, and the Los Angeles Times headquarters, and new SOM-designed United States Courthouse across the street. FaB Park is the second major park-related development in the neighborhood, with the Agence Ter and SALT-designed, minimalist proposal for the blighted Pershing Square sitting just four blocks away released just a few weeks ago.
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Weird, but not so wonderful, says China as it bans “weird” architecture

Question: What has three Arcs de Triomphe, an Eiffel Tower, an Egyptian Sphynx, a Louvre, London Bridge and ten White Houses all over? The answer: China, of course. If the Chinese government has its way, that will soon change.

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The duplicate architectural icons may end there as the country's authorities have said no to anymore "oversized, xenocentric, weird" architecture, The New York Times reports. The State Council and the Communist Party’s Central Committee last week stated that there is to essentially be no more copycat architecture, and instead urged new builds to be “suitable, economic, green and pleasing to the eye.” The directive also stipulated that "the chaotic propagation of grandiose, West-worshipping, weird architecture" should be ended, while gated communities have also been vetoed.

Guidelines arose after meetings discussed issues regarding the alarming rate of urbanization that China is undergoing. Just two years ago, President Xi Jinping expressed his views on China's architectural scene, again deeming it "weird" saying there was to be "no more weird architecture." He went on to say that the current climate displayed "a lack of cultural confidence and some city officials’ distorted attitudes about political achievements," though only now does action appear to be being taken.

According to a translation by the Wall Street Journal Blog, Yang Baojun, vice director of the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPA), commented on the directive, saying that "the document is a wake-up call for those places where [there has been] a one-sided pursuit of architectural form over function, where cultural orientation has been compromised by an excessive desire to show off."

The New York Times meanwhile reports that experts have warned of "stricter design standards for public buildings." It also added that, an online forum for the Communist Party newspaper, People's Dailypredicted that "in the future it is unlikely that Beijing will have other strangely shaped buildings like the ‘Giant Trousers’ " referring to the China Central Television Headquarters (CCTV) by OMA.

Feng Guochuan, an architect based in Shenzhen spoke about how the President Xi's words had already begun to have an impact on decision making regarding new projects. He was also worried that Xi was meddling with matters that should only concern urban planners, and not the President. "Generally speaking, local governments now tend to approve more conservative designs," he said.

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However, Wang Kai, vice president of CAUPA, said these stricture design guidelines would mainly be applied to public schemes, while private projects would still have freedom. "For private housing or commercial projects, there is still space for innovation."

Mr. Wang also added that "we shouldn’t go overboard in pursuit of appearances," going on to say how functionality should be the main concern in public buildings.

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OMA merges sport and science in this terraced building for one of England’s elite boarding schools

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) announced that its designs for a joint Sports and Sciences department for the UK's Brighton College have been approved. The Rem Koolhaas–owned architecture practice won an invited competition in 2013, and the project was further developed and submitted for planning approval in 2015. The unveiled designs envision a linear building at the edge of the college’s playing field that combines the two departments for a “lively and animated circulation” inside. The primary sporting spaces will be at the same level as the playing field, with the sports hall opening directly onto it. A rooftop running track and basement-level swimming pool are among other expected amenities. Meanwhile, the science department spans over the sporting spaces like a “skeletal” bridge. The facade of the three-story building is inspired by the terraced housing adjacent to the building. As the biggest construction project in the school’s 170-year history, it will form an unexpected interplay between the two academic disciplines. The privately-owned, co-ed boarding and day school, one of Britain’s finest, is composed of two areas: a historical quadrangle hosting Grade II–listed gothic-revival buildings designed by Sir Gilbert Scott and Sir Thomas Jackson in the 19th century, and the playing field bordered by buildings from the 1970s and 1980s, the site of OMA’s new construction. Before building can commence, however, the 1970s sports hall, classroom block, maintenance building, and two-story pavilion must be demolished first. The project forms the final phase of a more than $62 million masterplan, which includes two other new buildings—a boarding house and amenities building by Allies & Morrison.