Cornell architecture professor Jonathan Oschorn has taken Rem Koolhaas’ Milstein Hall—an expansion of the university’s architecture school—to task in a critique, calling it “by virtually any conceivable objective criterion, a disaster.” While Oschorn admitted that the building possesses great aesthetic interest, his quibbles lie in the project’s functionality. He calls out no less than seven fire safety issues, including that the auditorium only has a single means of egress and that there are no fire walls separating it from the existing buildings that it connects—Sibley and Rand halls. He takes the LEED system to task, wondering how in the world a building that makes nearly every no-no conceivable in terms of sustainability—such as terrible issues with thermal bridging and a form that maximizes envelope surface area for the floor area—could be awarded a Gold rating. He points out “non structural failure” items, such as a leaking curtain wall and roof, cracked concrete floors, and protruding objects that could be problematic for the visually impaired. Finally, he blasts the building’s lack of flexibility to adapt to future uses. Oschorn’s review, which is available online, makes for a scintillating read, but it hasn’t won him many friends in Ithaca. In an interview with Enoch Sears of thebusinessofarchitecture.com, he admitted, “The architects at Cornell who supervised the construction no longer talk to me.”
Posts tagged with "Rem Koolhaas":
New Miami mayor Philip Levine has positioned himself as a major roadblock in the way of OMA's proposed Miami Beach Convention Center. South Beach ACE, a team lead by Rem Koolhaas, local developer Robert Wennett, and New York City developer Dan Tishman narrowly edged a design by Bjarke Ingles Group in a hotly contested competition held last year to re-design the campus. Levine has now raised questions about the proposed $1 billion cost of the project and is calling for a new set of candidates offering smaller-scale and more affordable renovation options. On Wednesday, the city officially killed the project. Unsurprisingly, ACE has not reacted well to the news, citing the large sums they invested in winning the initial competition. Their vision for the project included extensive green space and constituted a tempt to more effectively integrate the complex into the surrounding South Beach neighborhood. A curved hotel was placed atop the corner of the building in order to minimize the architectural footprint of the plan. According to the Miami Herald, the city called off ACE's proposal, opting instead to "issue a new bid for just the renovation of the city-owned convention center." A separate project to build a new hotel will also be explored independently.
In addition to the aforementioned figures, convention center specialists tvsdesign were attached to the project, while Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Raymond Jungles were brought in to handle landscape design.Despite the star-power behind the proposal Levine has proved reticent to commit money he feels the city does not currently have in its coffers. Clearly, the recently elected mayor is yet to see the snazzy promotional video ACE produced to present their concept.
Last year, just around this time, AN sat down with Los Angeles-based cinematographer Tomas Koolhaas to discuss his highly anticipated film, REM, about his Pritzker Prize-winning father. Casting aside the dusty architectural documentary formula of conceited talking heads and lifeless shots of seemingly uninhabited buildings, the younger Koolhaas set out to explore the “human condition” around some of his father's most high profile projects. Now the film is nearly complete, but with grant money running dry, the filmmaker has turned to Kickstarter to pull in the final funds to push through the post-production process, and has released two new clips to promote the project: the film’s first official trailer and an interview with "the Rem Koolhaas of hip-hop," Mr. Kanye West. As Tomas Koolhaas told AN last year, "my concept has always been more focused on human interaction with the work, just because I find that more interesting, and it’s the least explored aspect." From "free runner" bouncing off the walls of the Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal to Chinese migrant workers constructing the CCTV building in Beijing and a homeless man spending his days within OMA's Seattle Central Library, Koolhaas' film seeks to capture a variety of modes of interaction that people and buildings engage in. By turning his attention towards these real-life stories that highlight the diverse intersections of human life and architecture, Koolhaas hopes to capture varied social, physical, and cultural experiences of a building instead of the same armchair theories that are fed to us in most design documentaries. And what does Kanye West have to do with all of this? Why don't you just watch and see for yourself.
Since 2011, skateboarders from all over Europe have flocked to a large concrete slab in OMA’s Museum Park in the city center of Rotterdam as a local spot for tricks and meetups. Nicknamed “Rem’s Flag,” the spot is painted with a massive 492-foot version of the EU Barcode, a multi-colored barcode design by architect Rem Koolhaas, conceived as an equal display of the flags of the European Union. Various objects have been “barcoded” with the Koolhaas flag. The most recent is a set of 80 limited edition skateboard decks, a collaboration between surf-inspired skateboard brand Dufarge and AMO, an OMA think tank, in honor of the Rem’s Flag skating experience. For skaters at Museum Park, the EU Barcode at Rem’s Flag is a challenge: only the best can land their tricks on its straight lines. Working with Generator, a Southern California–based custom skateboard company, Dufarge and OMA scaled the barcode to screenprint on each hand-numbered deck. Taking care to match the country-representative colors exactly, the high quality boards honor Koolhaas’ design and the OMA urban space that has become iconic in the skateboarding world.
After less than four years under construction, the massive De Rotterdam towers, OMA’s grand experiment in urban density and scale, were completed a few weeks ago. With over 1,700,000 square feet of floor space, Rem Koolhaas’ glass-clad “vertical city” is the largest multifunctional building in the Netherlands. Within a 6-story, 100-foot-tall plinth, and three, 44-story, 500-foot-tall towers, Rem Koolhaas has crammed over 600,000 square feet of office space, 16,000 square feet of hospitality space, a 260-room, four-star hotel, 240 luxury apartments and leisure facilities, a 670-space parking garage, and conference, event, and retail facilities for a total of 7,588 individual “spaces.” 5,000 people are expected to be within the building on any given day once residents begin to move in early next year, making it the most densely populated piece of land in the country. While that all may sound overwhelming, the architects have sorted De Rotterdam’s multifaceted program into compact, functional blocks within the building’s mass to provide both order and dynamism, with parking at the bottom, public programs atop that, residences relegated to one tower, offices in the next, and more offices and the hotel in the third tower. The building's diverse users come together in the conference rooms, recreational spaces, and restaurants, as well as the grand ground-floor atrium. Spanning the width of the building, the travertine-clad great hall greets office workers, hotel guests, visitors and residents with 30-foot high ceilings and natural stone flooring. The material oppulance continues across the project, with reception areas and elevator lobbies clad in brass and floor to ceiling windows on every floor. But as the architects at OMA argue, it was not their bold aspirations or "Fountainheaded" hubris that has guided this project, but the needs of their home-city, Rotterdam. “This is not simply an ambitious architectural project, it is also part of a necessity," said Koolhaas at the building’s opening. “We need to emphasize how much urban activity is injected in this place at this moment.” "Efficiency has been a central design parameter from day one,” said OMA-partner Ellen Van Loon in a statement. “The extreme market forces at play throughout the course of the project, far from being a design constraint, have in fact reinforced our original concept. The result is a dense, vibrant building for the city."
One World Trade may officially be the tallest building in the West, but according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the honor of the Best Tall Building in the World goes to OMA’s CCTV Headquarters in Beijing–a fitting birthday gift to the architect who previously declared war on the skyscraper (Happy 69th Rem!). Back in July, the CTBUH revealed its four regional finalists for the annual Best Tall Buildings competition, which included Foster + Partners’ The Bow (Calgary, Canada) for the Americas, Renzo Piano’s The Shard (London) for Europe, and Goettsch Partners Sowwah Square complex (Abu Dhabi) for the Middle East and Africa. The CCTV building was chosen as the worldwide champ after senior representatives from each of the winning firms presented their projects to a jury at the Illinois Institute of Technology campus in Chicago on November 7. The CTBUH praised Rem Koolhaas’ iconic building for challenging the definition and typology of the skyscraper with its groundbreaking form, pushing the limits of possibility with its cutting-edge structural engineering, and serving as a catalyst for the recent transformation of skyscrapers from the high-reaching towers of old to the dynamic urban centerpieces that are rising across the world today. In usual Koolhaas form, the architect accepted his award by expressing his distaste for traditional tall buildings. “When I published my last book, Content, in 2003, one chapter was called 'Kill the Skyscraper,'" Koolhaas said at the ceremony. “Basically it was an expression of disappointment at the way skyscraper typology was used and applied. I didn’t think there was a lot of creative life left in skyscrapers. Therefore, I tried to launch a campaign against the skyscraper in its more uninspired form.” “The fact that I am standing on this stage now, in this position, meant that my declaration of war went completely unnoted, and that my campaign was unsuccessful,” Koolhaas continued jokingly before concluding. “Being here, its is quite moving—to be part of a community that is trying to make skyscrapers more interesting. I am deeply grateful, and thank all my partners.”
Seeking ideas for a new 645,800 square foot media campus in Berlin, Axel Springer AG revealed its design contest by inviting twenty international firms to propose innovative schemes. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of the company, specified “the building should not be overwhelmingly beautiful, but also address the question: what does material mean in a dematerialized media company, what does an office mean in a mobile working environment, in which offices are no longer really required?” The five shortlisted firms are Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Kuehn Malvezzi, Ole Scheeren, Rem Koolhaas (OMA) and SANAA. The winner will be announced in December. (Photo: Google Earth)
Join Leading Industry Professionals at Rem Koolhaas' Chicago IIT Campus Center for Facades+PERFORMANCE!
Facades+ PERFORMANCE, presented by The Architect's Newspaper and Enclos, is the latest in our breakthrough series of conferences which seek to address the most pressing issues in the design, fabrication, and construction of cutting-edge, sustainable building enclosures. Join us in Chicago from October 24th-25th as leading professionals from across the AEC industries converge for two days of symposia, panels, and workshops to explore the latest strategies for delivering innovative facades amidst increasing standards of geometric complexity and environmental performance. Architects, engineers, developers, consultants, and other industry professionals are invited to take part in this exciting event. Be there as German architect Stefan Behnisch, founding partner of Behnisch Architekten, delivers his featured keynote address on the shifting role of the building skin in the wake of emerging technologies. Network with fellow professionals and join in the dialog with representatives from SOM, Gehry Technologies, Morphosis, SHoP, Thornton Tomasetti, and other industry-leading firms. From cocktails in Rem Koolhaas–designed IIT McCormick Tribune Campus Center, to hands-on workshops in the latest design technologies and intimate discussions of some of today's most exciting projects, this is one event you cannot afford to miss. Register today to join the revolution that is changing the face of our built environment. “With the challenges we face in the built environment, facades are becoming more and more an integral element of architectural design and engineering,” said Behnisch in a statement. “It is not only the visual appearance but also the performance of a building that depend on the facade.” With dozens of completed projects across Europe and the United States, Behnisch has made a name for himself through the dynamic forms, state-of-the-art facades, and the socially and environmentally sustainable focus of his work. As our featured keynote speaker, Behnisch will draw from his professional experience discuss the evolving functions of facades and the architect’s role within this changing landscape. “In the search for a more sustainable built environment, we, the architects have to assess the conditions under which our buildings have to be built and the conditions under which they have to perform. Whilst in the second half of the 20th century, the International Style allowed us to build similar buildings within many different climates, we cannot afford to do this anymore. …Today, we have to analyze the climatic, the cultural, the geopolitical, the social, the geographical and the topographical conditions of our potential buildings.” The seats are filling up fast, so reserve your space today to hear more from Behnisch and the rest of the exciting lineup of presenters at Facades+ PERFORMANCE! For the full schedule of events, check out the complete Facades+ site.
Next Tuesday, the nearly 850-foot-tall Shenzhen Stock Exchange Building will be inaugurated as the new head of capitalist trading in Hong Kong. OMA, Rem Koolhaas’ architectural firm, was commissioned to design and construct the soaring structure in 2006. After nearly $500 million in expenditures, according to reports by the Wall Street Journal blog, the square-form skyscraper with a surprising floating base, is complete. Situated 118 feet above an outdoor, ground-level plaza, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s three-story cantilevered podium creates drama in the building’s form while satisfying practical needs. This floating base provides shade to pedestrians, a garden rooftop, and an outward indication of interior operations. OMA located the stock exchange’s main trading floors in the interior of this base, allowing maximum square footage for the computer servers. With a facade constructed of a gridded exoskeleton over a patterned glass curtain wall, the building reacts to changes in weather, muting to reflect grey days and brightening when the sun peeks out. The generic skyscraper design of the rest of the structure allows it to fit in with existing neighbors, but clever details like these set it apart from the typical.
A tired strip along Collins Avenue in Miami, once populated by swanky hotels, will soon be returned to its former glory days. The Miami Herald reported that Argentinian developer Alan Faena is moving forward with his grand vision for this ghostly side of town, dubbed the "Faena District Miami Beach," which will consist of an elaborate mix of residential, hotels, retail, and cultural space. Modeled after his successful transformation of the Puerto Madero district in his hometown of Buenos Aires, this new plan aims to turn this washed up, beachfront stretch into a bustling cultural and residential neighborhood. And to accomplish this, Faena has enlisted the help of big name architects such as Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, and Roman & Williams. The developer just broke ground on the first phase: A lavish 18-story condo tower designed by Foster + Partners with apartments, ranging from 4,000 to 18,000-square feet in size, and costing up to $50 million. Across the street, Koolhaas' OMA will design a cultural center with a domed auditorium and an underground parking garage with shops on ground floor. The firm will also overhaul the understated Atlantic Beach Hotel and turn it into an open courtyard building for retail. The developer has also purchased the run down Saxony Hotel and asked Roman & Williams to renovate the interior of the historic landmark. And apparently designers aren't the only creatives coming on board this project. Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann—of the flashy, over-the-top productions, such as The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge, and Romeo and Juliette—will work in some currently-vague capacity, along with his wife Catherine Martin, in what the Herald has called a “creative role’’ at the hotel. Should we expect to find his visual spectacles projected on walls of suites playing to soundtracks by Jay-Z?
Marina Abramović owes 4,765 hugs to the supporters of her successfully funded $600,000 Kickstarter. Last month, the artist launched the online campaign to fund her own Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) in upstate New York, a performance center conceptualized as a laboratory that will be dedicated to the practice of long-durational performance art and the “Marina Abramović Method.” Project donations ranged from $1 to $10,000 and all donors are invited to receive a personal hug from the artist in a future performance event called “The Embrace.” With help from social media, celebrity interest, and a few encouragements from Abramović herself, the center surpassed its goal by more than $60,000 before the end of its month-long funding period this past Sunday. Designed by OMA’s Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu, the center’s focus is the large hall where Abramović and other performance artists will show six-hour art pieces to an audience donning lab coats. Contracted to stay for the duration, visitors will be trained in the Marina Abramović Method, being led through a variety of sensory exercises in rooms surrounding the great theater space. A few weeks ago, a viral video of pop singer Lady Gaga practicing the Method in the nude raised interest in the MAI campaign. Last month, rapper Jay-Z’s recent six-hour performance of “Picasso Baby” at Pace Gallery in New York City paid homage to Abramović’s 2010 The Artist is Present performance at the Museum of Modern Art. Even the artist herself posted a playful clip, explaining how many long durational performance artists it takes to screw in a lightbulb. With celebrity support and interest generated through Abramović's #whyMAI blog and Reddit Q&A sessions, this unique vision is now on course to be realized. Overall, the Kickstarter campaign raised $661,452 and MAI became the largest cultural institution to be funded in this way. Soon, OMA will begin to transform a 29,000-square-foot former theater in Hudson, New York, into an institute devoted solely to long durational performance art, definitely the first of its kind.
The clock is currently ticking on fundraising for Marina Abramović’s proposed Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art (MAI), a performance art center designed by Rem Koolhaas' OMA. The facility is planned to be set in a former theater in Hudson, New York. On July 26th, the artist launched a $600 thousand Kickstarter campaign to fund the institute she hopes will develop new forms of the long durational—six hours or more—performance art she is famous for. Abramović has teamed with OMA architects Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas to gut the current building and design a multi-level, multi-room performance hall in which visitors will stay for a minimum of six hours (as signed by contract upon entrance). With the Kickstarter campaign fundraising goal, which must be fulfilled by August 25th, the team will transform the building's state of disrepair into a conceptualized laboratory: a performance and education space where visitors will wear white lab coats and participate in the Marina Abramović Method of durational performance art. The artist means for MAI to become a center of interaction across topics, “foster[ing] collaborations between art, science, technology, and spirituality, bringing those fields into conversation” and her designing architects have taken the mission to heart. For the New York Times Art Beat last year, Shigematsu said he and Koolhaas planned on “creating a one-of-a-kind typology” for MAI’s less than typical theater program. In the Abramović Method, participants become the art they simultaneously view. The current OMA architectural models their interpretation of Abramović's unique vision. OMA plans specifically-purposed rooms surrounding the central performance space, which will be visible throughout the facility. Abramović believes the institute fills a current void in the art world as a place for people to satisfy their “immense desire to slow down and connect to themselves and to one another in a live setting.” She hopes that MAI will show the work of several long durational performance artists across a variety of genres.