OMA announced on Friday that it will design a master plan for Airport City, an ambitious 3.9-square-mile project that will link the new Hamad International Airport with Doha, Qatar. Recalling the ideas put forth last year by John D. Kasarda and Greg Lindsay in Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next, OMA’s enterprising piece of urbanism will incorporate four distinct districts along a green axis of public spaces parallel to the airport’s runways to create a functionally differentiated but continuous urban system. Residential, business, aviation, and logistics districts will be tied together in a new type of 21st century transit oriented development. Rem Koolhaas commented in a statement, “We are delighted and honored to participate in the exciting growth of Doha, in a project that is perhaps the first serious effort anywhere in the world to interface between an international airport and the city it serves.” While it will take at least 30 years to complete the project, the first phase should be ready for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
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We’ve always known that Rem Koolhaas has a special relationship with textiles and those who make them. But watch out Petra Blaisse, someone else may be hoping to knit his way into Rem’s heart. According to the blog Knitting Daily, artist Jared Flood has created the wool “Koolhaas Hat,” a toboggan whose diamond-shaped pattern is inspired by the facade of OMA’s Seattle Public Library. We hope Flood will send a sample directly to Rotterdam. Watching a recent video of Rem accepting the annual Charles Jencks Award at RIBA in London, the formidable noggin looked particularly windswept.
Dutch firm OMA, Australian architecture firms HASSEL and Denton, Corker & Marshall, along with international design practice Populous have been selected to redevelop a large convention, exhibition, and entertainment district along Darling Harbour in Sydney. Developers Lend Lease will lead the creation of the 2.15 million-square-foot project called “Darling Harbour Live” that will include a red carpet entertainment venue, an exhibition center, a new residential neighborhood called The Haymarket —designed by Denton Corker & Marshall —and a 900 room hotel for which OMA led the conceptual design. As part of this urban renewal plan, there will also be a focus on outdoor public space with a renovated Tumbalong Park, which can accommodate 25,000 people as an outdoor event space; a new Harbourside Place, a palm tree lined street alongside the crystalline ICC; a Chinese Garden Square; and Haymarket Square, a central meeting spot for the Haymarket neighborhood with outdoor tables and seating. Australia's NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said in a statement that, “The redevelopment goes far beyond improving facilities—it’s also about re-shaping the city. Darling Harbor already attracts 25 million people a year and this development will create a more vibrant place on Sydney Harbor.” Redevelopment of the area will take place in phases as the projects replace existing structures like the current Sydney Convention & Exhibition Center, which will close in December of 2013 followed two years later by the Sydney Entertainment center in December of 2015. Construction of the new buildings is expected to be complete in 2016 and estimated to cost $1 billion.
On October 16 thieves nabbed a handful of valuable paintings, including works by Picasso, Matisse, and Monet, from the Kunsthal gallery in Rotterdam. At least one person points the finger at the architecture by home team OMA. Citing an interview with Dutch security expert Ton Cremers, Dezeen.com reports that the open plan and glass walls are a nightmare for guards. Cremers appreciates the design aesthetic of the museum, which was completed in 1992, but noted, “It’s an awful building to protect.”
After today's announcement of Norman Fosters next project in New York, a luxury condo tower at the United Nations, we just can't get enough of the British starchitect. Luckily, a stash of video renderings and presentations from the firms behind the planned 425 Park tower can provide just the fix. It wasn't too long ago that the starchitect-filled competition for the new Park Avenue tower selected Foster + Partners as its winner. Now after the design presentations at the recent MAS Summit and the release of photo renderings from all players—including runners up Richard Rogers, Rem Koolhaas, and Zaha Hadid—we can indulge in the virtual demonstrations of their designs. For more videos of the MAS summit presentations, click here.
OMA has won the design competition for the new École Centrale Engineering school in Saclay, France, a suburb of Paris. The final design calls for an enormous block composed of smaller buildings creating an open plan grid. According to OMA, the concept behind the design is a "lab city" where multiple events can take place while all being simultaneously observed. A diagonal pathway cuts through the grid connecting the existing engineering school to a future metro station connecting to Paris. The entire school complex will be sheltered by a glass roof and encourage collaborative practices while still maintaining the structure and stability necessary for an engineering school. In the very center, rising above the surrounding campus, a smaller forum block will be built above the glass roof to act as an activity hub housing a gym, classrooms, and an administration center.
Park Avenue in Manhattan is ready to grow taller, and a starchitect-filled competition won by Lord Norman Foster revealed the first of what's likely to be many new towers along the corridor. But what of the three runners up? Renderings from all four finalist—Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers, OMA, and Norman Foster—have now been released by L&L Holdings and Lehman Brothers detailing four distinct visions for the future of the New York skyscraper. Foster's final winning design will be presented at the Municipal Arts Society's Summit for New York City, which begins on Thursday, October 18 (Foster will present on Friday at 9 a.m.). Also during the two day summit, an exhibition displaying the work of all four finalists' designs will be on view. Proposal by Zaha Hadid Height: 669 feet; Stories: 40 “The design challenge for 425 Park Avenue lies in producing a structure of timeless elegance, yet with a strong identity that reflects the complex and sophisticated age in which it was created and mirrors the exceptional setting in which it is placed. Our approach has been to unite the four fundamental qualities for the project — Function, Design, Culture and Value — and fuse them into a single seamless design which incorporates these characteristics in a harmonious and unified architectural concept. “With its breezy views up and down Park Avenue and breath-taking vistas of Central Park, the new building is quintessentially “New York” in its very definition. Its sleek verticality breathes the very essence of the city, while its gentle curves evoke a new dynamism of form which is both distinctly contemporary and ageless. This harmony is equally reflected in the building’s openness, flexible design and technological efficiency, providing an adaptable architectural context that allows it to accommodate its tenants’ requirements and desires." - Zaha Hadid Proposal by OMA Height: 648 feet; Stories: 38 “Our current aesthetics oscillate between nearly exhausted orthogonality and a still immature curvaceousness. “Our building is an intersection of these two observations: it proposes a stack of three cubes —the lower one a full solid block on Park Avenue, the smallest on top, rotated 45 degrees vis-a-vis the Manhattan grid, oriented beyond its mere location in a sweep from Midtown to Central Park. “The three cubes are connected by curved planes to create a subtle alternation of flat and 3 dimensional places, each reflecting sky and city in their own way." - Rem Koolhaas Proposal by Rogers Stirk Harbour Partners Height: 665 feet; Stories: 44 “We have created a contemporary homage to the quintessential New York skyscraper, by designing a tower that will define the next chapter in their illustrious story. Our solution acknowledges the design attributes of its neighbours on Park Avenue, but brings new qualities: honest expression; generosity; efficiency and humanity. The clear expression of the process of construction is evident from the huge 43 storey steel frame down to the smallest detail, this gives the building a human scale. “In designing sky gardens, we are reconnecting workers and the city with nature, by using different American landscape ecologies, from forest to alpine, to suit the different altitudes of each garden. These spaces also offer great views of the park and the metropolis." - Lord Richard Rogers Winning Proposal by Foster + Partners [ More Info ] Height: 687 feet; Stories: 41 “Our aim is to create an exceptional building, both of its time and timeless, as well as being respectful of its context and celebrated Modernist neighbours—a tower that is for the City and for the people that will work in it, setting a new standard for office design and providing an enduring landmark that befits its world-famous location. “Clearly expressing the geometry of its structure, the tapered steel-frame tower rises to meet three shear walls that will be illuminated, adding to the vibrant New York City skyline. Its elegant facade seamlessly integrates with an innovative internal arrangement that allows for three gradated tiers of column-free floors. Offering world-class, sustainable office accommodation, the new building anticipates changing needs in the workplace with large, flexible open floor plates. Each of the three tiers—low, medium and high-rise—is defined by a landscaped terrace with panoramic views across Manhattan and Central Park. To maximize the Park Avenue frontage, the core is placed to the rear, where glazed stairwells reveal long views towards the East River, while at street level, there is potential for a large civic plaza with significant works of art.” - Lord Norman Foster
High-design fashion label Coach has been pursuing big-name architects, recently announcing its corporate headquarters will be the anchor tenant for a new Kohn Pederson Fox tower at Hudson Yards with James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro's High Line running underneath. Next up, Rem Koolhaas' OMA will design the brand's new flagship shop-in-shop at Macy's in Herald Square. WWD reported today that Koolhaas will bring a clean, modern aesthetic to glass and acrylic modular display units slated for 1,930 square feet of the Macy's ground floor and expected to open in September. OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu told WWD the modules were flexible in how they could be used, "In typical instances they are used as display; in others they come together as an interior fixture. In others still, they enclose spaces for programs or curation, and by sealing that enclosure, it can even become the facade." OMA will also be designing the Coach Omotesando flagship in Tokyo. The firm has also designed high-end retail space for Prada in New York and Beverly Hills.
The shortlist for the coveted annual Stirling Prize from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has been announced! With six contesting projects to choose from, judges will begin visiting all six sites and will convene for a final vote on October 13, 2012. Among the six shortlisted projects are Maggie’s Cancer Centre and New Court Rothschild Bank, both by the OMA, London's new Olympic Stadium by Populous, and David Chipperfield’s Wakefield, the Barbara Hepworth sculpture gallery in Yorkshire. Founded in 1966, The RIBA Stirling Prize is given annually to a building and its practice, honoring the project as the “greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.” Unlike the Pritzker Prize which acknowledges an architect for lifetime achievement, the Stirling honors a practice for one building per year, allowing projects to gain more recognition as they’re built. Along with a £20,000 prize, the Stirling also comes with front page news coverage and television promotions on channels like the BBC 2, giving architecture the fame and exposure that it rarely gets in society today. Regarding the shortlisted projects, RIBA President Angela Brady expressed her ambivalence, as all the projects are on par with each other on levels of success and aesthetics. “All of the shortlisted buildings demonstrate the essence of great architecture; they are human-scale buildings, places to inspire, entertain, educate and comfort their visitors and passers-by," she said in a statement. "Every building not only works beautifully from within but has a superb relationship with its surroundings, with a strong interplay between the two. They don’t shout ‘look at me’ and even the tallest building, New Court in the City of London, has created good views for passing pedestrians, meeting the challenge of delivering good urban design in an historic area.” Take a look at the rest of the contesting projects:
What makes the performing arts so thrilling is also what makes them so elusive—they are, by nature, ephemeral. Any documentation of a performance is only a pale reflection of what it's like to be there in the moment. So when performance artist Marina Abramovic began to contemplate what her own legacy would be, she thought beyond biographies, retrospectives, or monuments and instead began to develop a method of generating the kind of experiences she valued, one that would allow her kind of performances to continue long after the artist was no longer present. Starting in late 2014, "long duration" (six hours plus) performance pieces as well as facilities intended to initiate the public into performance art will be housed in the Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art (MAI) in Hudson, New York. The institute will occupy an old 20,000 square-foot theater that was purchased by Abramovic in 2007 and whose interior is being redesigned by Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas of OMA. At Monday's press preview held at MoMA P.S. 1 in Queens, Shigematsu compared the concept for the institute to the experience of attending a baseball game (which, he noted, can be "long and sometimes very boring"), where the main spectacle unfolds below on the field but plenty of equally engaging activities happen at the same time in and around the grandstands. OMA will leave the theater's 1929 brick facade and colonnaded entry but create a new box inside that functions as a central performance space with 650 seats. Wrapping around it will be a fitness space, a library, and classrooms, along with rooms dedicated to meditation, levitation (powered by magnets), and crystals (which Abramovic believes are "like regenerators for people"). The key feature of OMA's design is that all these spaces are visually connected back to the center, creating a series of layers that blur the boundaries between audience and performer. In fact, every visitor to MAI will become a performer of sorts, signing on for a minimum visit of six hours that requires donning a white lab coat and participating in a series of instructive experiences on what Abramovic terms "hard-core performance art." The artist calls this "The Abramovic Method,"—"I feel like I've become a brand," she said—and through it she has made her evolution into an institution it's own kind of performance. Realizing that this level of engagement may require not only an open mind but also some endurance training, Abramovic and OMA have invented a kind of wheeled lounge chair in which visitors can rest, nap, and be rolled by staff to different levels of facility along a giant spiral ramp (a cafe is planned for the rooftop). Given the sanatorium-style atmosphere that is part Magic Mountain and part Eleusinian mysteries some guests may never want their performance to end. But to realize this vision for MAI, Abramovic must first raise at least $15 million and is now beginning a fundraising tour.
And then there were six. Cornell University announced that six firms were selected from a field of 43 contenders to design their new tech campus on Roosevelt Island. SOM, the firm that pushed Cornell over the top in the national competition to build on Roosevelt is still in the running, alongside OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) , Diller Scofidio + Renfro , Morphosis Architects , Steven Holl Architects , and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. SOM will remain on the job to define an overall campus plan. The university is still running with its net-zero plan for the first core building. Residences and other multi-use buildings will follow. A contract with the winning firm is set to be signed in April.
Ole Scheeren, a former partner at Rem Koolhaas' OMA who broke away to start his own firm (Buro OS) in March 2010, has unveiled his latest project in Kuala Lumpur: an 880-foot-tall mixed-use tower called the Angkasa Raya. Adjacent to Cesar Pelli's Petronas Twin Towers, once the world's tallest, Scheeren's new 65-story project progresses a skyscraper typology of stacked volumes made popular at OMA. The Angkasa Raya separates uses into five distinct volumes, three vertical blocks arranged around two stacks of open, horizontal floors. The lowest horizontal level mixes a parking structure with a spiraling public space reached by ascending a monumental stair from the street that doubles as amphitheater seating. By incorporating public elements within the parking, the architects hope to avoid the deadening effects of a lifeless base. Shops, a food court, prayer rooms, and lush tropical gardens are intended to bring the life of the street into the base of the building in a highly transparent way. Perched above this base, volumes housing offices and a luxury hotel support another set of horizontal layers—the "sky levels"—with a third volume of residences on top. The three main volumes are defined by a grid of windows featuring modular projecting aluminum sun screens to reduce solar heat gain and increase energy savings in the building. The top tower volume also contains an atrium with communal seating and lounge space. The atrium provides natural ventilation to the residential units, further reducing energy demand. The architects also plan to harvest rainwater for use in irrigating landscaping. The sky levels serve as the public meeting space between the three predominant uses, adding a restaurant and bar, multi-purpose spaces including banquet halls and meeting rooms, and more tropical gardens all with some of the best views in Kuala Lumpur. Projecting terraces and an infinity pool overlooking the Petronas Towers adds to the luxury offerings. Demolition on the site was completed in August and construction is expected to be underway in early 2012.