Auguste Perret by OMA and PRADA

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OMA. Office for Metropolitan Architecture

Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is an international practice operating within the traditional boundaries of architecture and urbanism. AMO, a research and design studio, applies architectural thinking to domains beyond. OMA is led by eight partners – Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf, Ellen van Loon, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, Chris van Duijn, Jason Long, and Managing Partner-Architect David Gianotten – and maintains offices in Rotterdam, New York, Hong Kong, Doha, and Australia. OMA-designed buildings currently under construction are the renovation of Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) in Berlin, The Factory in Manchester, Hangzhou Prism, the CMG Times Center in Shenzhen and the Simone Veil Bridge in Bordeaux.

OMA’s completed projects include Taipei Performing Arts Centre (2022), Audrey Irmas Pavilion in Los Angeles (2020), Norra Tornen in Stockholm (2020), Axel Springer Campus in Berlin (2020), MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre (2020), Galleria in Gwanggyo (2020), WA Museum Boola Bardip (2020), nhow RAI Hotel in Amsterdam (2020), a new building for Brighton College (2020), and Potato Head Studios in Bali (2020). Earlier buildings include Fondazione Prada in Milan (2018), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2015), De Rotterdam (2013), CCTV Headquarters in Beijing (2012), Casa da Música in Porto (2005), and the Seattle Central Library (2004).

AMO often works in parallel with OMA's clients to fertilize architecture with intelligence from this array of disciplines. This is the case with Prada: AMO's research into identity, in-store technology, and new possibilities of content-production in fashion helped generate OMA's architectural designs for new Prada epicenter stores in New York and Los Angeles. In 2004, AMO was commissioned by the European Union to study its visual communication, and designed a colored "barcode" flag, combining the flags of all member states, which was used during the Austrian presidency of the EU. AMO has worked with Universal Studios, Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, Heineken, Ikea, Condé Nast, Harvard University and the Hermitage. It has produced Countryside: The Future, a research exhibited at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; exhibitions at the Venice Architecture Biennale, including Public Works (2012), Cronocaos (2010), and The Gulf (2006); and for Fondazione Prada, including When Attitudes Become Form (2012) and Serial and Portable Classics (2015). AMO, with Harvard University, was responsible for the research and curation of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale and its publication Elements. Other notable projects are Roadmap 2050, a plan for a Europe-wide renewable energy grid; Project Japan, a 720-page book on the Metabolism architecture movement (Taschen, 2010); and the educational program of Strelka Institute in Moscow.

Auguste Perret

Auguste Perret (February 12, 1874, Ixelles, Belgium - February 25, 1954, Paris, France). He started studying in the École of Beaux Arts in Paris, however, just before finishing, he abandoned his studies and started working with his father. He was one of the most important figures of the french architecture at the beginning of the 20th century, as he was a pioneer in the use of reinforced concrete in his buildings.

Although he and his family had french origins, due to political problems, his father was forced to take refuge in Brussels. It was in 1881, when they returned to their country of origin, settling in Paris.

His father was owner of a construction company, where Perret first came into contact with reinforced concrete, material in which the company was specialized, and would accompany Auguste through his professional career.

After leaving his studies in architecture, and having acquired a great amount of knowledge during this period, he began to work next to his father in the family company.

His beginnings in architecture begun with the construction of the building of Avenue Wragan, Paris, in 1902, where certain traits of the classicism are seen, and will revolve in the rest of his following creations. However, his first important work was the apartment building on rue Franklin in 1903. This was the first building of these characteristics made with reinforced concrete, presenting a neoclassical facade composition and the structure as a seen element on the facade. This will be the example of the use of concrete as a valid structural material, as well as an ornamental element in the facade, forming part of the key aspects he used in his work.

In 1905 he founded, alongside his brother Gustave Perret, the architectural studio A & G. Perret Architectes, where they established concrete as their main material. Shortly after, along with his other brother, Claude Perret, they created the building company Perret Frères Entrepeneurs.

Among many, Auguste Perret is considered the father of concrete, as he was the first one to use it as a structural and constructive element, as well as using it in a decorative and detailed manner as an ornamental element, being considered by him as aesthetic concrete.

Perret was one of the most innovative architects of the French classicism in the 20th century, being considered on many occasions as a precursor of modern architecture and always embodying the neoclassical character in his work.

In the 1920s he dedicated himself to the research and deepening of the various possibilities of the concrete, achieving this way a new image through the use of stained-glass windows in concrete, using it especially in churches. An example of this technique is the rehabilitation of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Among his most notable works we find the Ponthieu garage (1905), the Elysian Fields Theater (Paris, 1911), the church of Notre Dame in Le Raincy (1922), the Museum of Public Works (1937) and the reconstruction in 1946 of part of the city of Le Havre.



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