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 coloured "barcode" flag – combining the flags of all member states – that 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 exhibitions at the Venice Architecture Biennale, including The Gulf (2006), Cronocaos (2010) and Public Works (2012) 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 principle publication Elements. Other notable projects are 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.
Abloh became a household name after working on creative direction for Kanye West’s DONDA firm, where he collaborated with the musician on album covers, concert designs and merchandising. Abloh’s attraction to music has led him to professionally DJ at prestigious venues and festivals around the world, such as Lollapalooza and Coachella.
Virgil Abloh passed away at the age of 41 after a two-year battle with cancer.
Samir Bantal is the director of AMO, the think- tank founded by Rem Koolhaas in 1998, which enables OMA to apply its architectural thinking beyond architecture, to the fields of design, technology, media and art.
Samir Bantal rejoined OMA in 2015 after working at the office between 2003 and 2007 on a number of projects ranging from product design, research, architecture and master planning. Samir was involved in the Image of Europe, an exhibition on the history and meaning of the European Union, rebranding the European flag. He worked on a new proposal for the Shanghai Expo of 2010, a master plan for Riga Port City and several exhibitions for the Venice Biennale. He was project architect of the Ras Al Khaimah master plan (2006) and Jebel Al Jais Resort (2006). Samir also contributed to a number of publications by AMO, such as Project Japan (2011) and Al Manakh I (2007).
Before joining OMA, Samir worked for Toyo Ito, and was associate professor at Delft Univeristy of Technology in the fields of architecture and urbanism. Between 2008-2012 he was editor of the Annual Architecture Yearbook of the Netherlands.
Currently, Samir is responsible for the new retail concept for the luxury car brand Genesis in Seoul, Korea. Also with AMO, Samir is currently working on 3 exhibitions. In Qatar, AMO explores the role of modern architecture in the development of the city of Doha, opening March 2019. Together with the Harvard School of Design, Samir leads Countryside, a comprehensive research project that investigates the interaction between the city and the countryside, which will culminate in an exhibition in the Guggenheim in New York early 2020. Lastly, ‘Figures of Speech’ will show at the MCA Chicago in June 2019. The design of the exhibition, a retrospective on the work of renown designer Virgil Abloh, is a collaboration between Samir and Virgil Abloh.
Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is a leading international partnership practising architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis. OMA's buildings and masterplans around the world insist on intelligent forms while inventing new possibilities for content and everyday use. 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), Norra Tornen in Stockholm (2020), Axel Springer Campus in Berlin (2020), MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre (2020), Galleria in Gwanggyo (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), Fondazione Prada in Milan (2015); G-Star Headquarters in Amsterdam (2014); Shenzhen Stock Exchange (2013); De Rotterdam (2013), CCTV Headquarters in Beijing (2012), New Court, the headquarters for Rothschild Bank in London (2011); Milstein Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York (2011); and Maggie's Centre, a cancer care centre in Glasgow (2011). Earlier buildings include Casa da Música in Porto (2005), Seattle Central Library (2004), and Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (2003).