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.
Petra Blaisse (London 1955), more popularly known in the world of architecture, for her colaboration in some of the most brilliant projects by Rem Koolhaas, as the carpets and finishes for the Seattle Central Library (2000-2004) or finishes and curtains for the Casa da Música in Porto (1999-2005) and acoustic walls, started her career at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, in the Department of Applied Arts. It was there that Blaisse first collaborated with Koolhaas. From 1987, she worked as freelance designer and won distinction for her installations of architectural work, in which the exhibited work was challenged more than displayed. Gradually her focus shifted to the use of textiles, light and finishes in interior space and, at the same time, to the design of gardens and landscapes.
In 1991, she founded Inside Outside. Since 1999 Blaisse invited specialist of various disciplines to work with her and currently the team consists of about ten people of different nationalities. Inside Outside works globally on projects of increasing technical sophistication and scale. Throughout the years, Inside Outside has collaborated with various architects and designers. Blaisse has lectured and taught extensively in Europe, Asia and the United States.
In the past years, the opening of a number of public and private buildings in which Inside Outside implemented interior and landscape interventions brought the work of Blaisse’s studio to the attention of a broader public. Examples are the restoration project for the Hackney Empire Theatre in London (all curtains, 2000-2005), the gardens, carpets and finishes for the Seattle Central Library (2000-2004), finishes and curtains for the Casa da Música in Porto (1999-2005) and acoustic walls and curtains for the Mercedes Benz museum in Stuttgart.
For landscape design, the studio presently works, together with OMA Hong Kong and Rotterdam, on the landscape masterplan for the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong and on public gardens (Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Qatar Foundation Headquarters and Education City Library) and on master plans for new urban development areas in Ghadames and Sebha, Libya.
ACT > 01.2019