Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) can easily be described as one of the leading international firms flourishing in the field of urban design. The Dutch architectural firm based in Rotterdam was founded in 1975 by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and Greek architect Elia Zenghelis. The firm is currently led by nine partners including the founder – Rem Koolhaas, and well-established professionals such as Ellen Van Loon. They maintain their renowned offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha, Dubai, and Perth. OMA has redefined urbanism with its groundbreaking projects that stand out amongst conventional designs.

WHAT‘S IN STORE FOR OMA?

Here’s a list of 10 upcoming projects that bring with them a fresh take on urban planning and design :

1. AUDREY IRMES PAVILION

Located in New York, the Audrey Irmes Pavilion is an addition to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Glazer Family Campus. The pavilion is designed to function as a gathering space that keeps pace with the existing campus activities. The pavilion, with its disruptive form and ornate, hexagonal façade pattern, brings with it a sense of dynamism to its surroundings.

The project is designed by Shohei Shigematsu and OMA New York and is expected to top out later this year. The complex contains a sunken garden from where one could view the dramatic city of Los Angeles, and the infamous Hollywood sign too!

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2. NEW MUSEUM

This project aims for the inclusion of a second building to the pre-existing museum and will be the first public building designed by OMA in New York City. The building doubles the Museum’s existing space with its new seven-storied design, which devotes 3 floors to function as galleries. With a total area of 60,000 sq. ft, the New Museum provides for increased public spaces such as restaurants and bookstores.

OMA has proposed a distinctive form and a simple façade for the building, that defends its striking individuality, yet, forms a cohesive unit with the older one and complements it. The angular extension is in its design development phase under the direction of Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas.

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3. HANGZHOU PRISM

OMA’s design of a multi-utilitarian complex for the Haichuang Group is a dominant and supreme structure that culturally responds to its rapidly – growing neighborhood in Hangzhou, China.

The structure is ‘chiseled’ by two oblique cuts, through the building envelope, giving it a striking geometric façade. The building will accommodate a retail space, a hotel, and an atrium garden. This contemporary complex is in reverence to the ancient saying “paradise above, and Hangzhou below”.

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4. UIC CENTER FOR THE ARTS

The complex is designed as a public and a gathering hub for the urban youth of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The design features a student tower, a 500 – seat vineyard style concert hall, and the main stage theatre sufficient enough to accommodate 270 people.

An elaborate structure with its translucent tent-like roof is well lit with its photovoltaic panels. The design also supports facilities such as a donor lounge, a small café, or a jazz club.

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5. POST-HOUSTON

This project aims to transform a United States Postal Services (USPS) facility at Downtown Houston into a cultural and commercial hub. The design effectively promotes the site’s history and culture with a range of innovative spaces from restaurants and bars to rooftop gardens and concert avenues. This creative experiment is still under construction and is expected to break ground later this year!

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6. CMG QIANHAI GLOBAL TRADE CENTER

A multi-purpose project located in Qianhai, China, that is given the city’s urban needs to include more diverse green spaces and interactive public amenities. The design features a sky bridge at a glorious height that will function as a three- dimensional trajectory that ties up public and private programs together.

The Global Trade Center has been conceived as a ‘Micro-City’ which challenges urban boundaries. It is a tower, a cluster, a neighborhood and a city all at once!

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7. GREEN POINT LANDING

A pair of residential towers in Brooklyn in its design development phase led by Jason Long, architect, and partner at OMA. The towers form a unique and unconventional form such that they lean into and away from another at different points. The design comprises over 745 housing units that perfectly silhouettes the waterfront neighborhood.

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8. FEYENOORD CITY STADIUM

The former stadium located at its de Kuip grounds is home to the Dutch football club and its devoted fans for over 80 long years. With ambitions to shift to better grounds that offer facilities in favor of the club, Rotterdam now looks forward to the New Feyenoord city stadium.

The new design is a cumulation of essential elements: the stand, circulation cores, structure, and functional spaces. This cultural icon in urban design though under construction is open to all and expected to be complete by 2023.

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9. AXEL SPRINGER CAMPUS

OMA has come up with yet another form out of the ordinary that contradicts traditional campus designs. Designed to lure the ‘ elite of Germany’s digital Bohemia’, the structure efficiently manages to do so with its series of terraced floors that together form a ‘valley’.

The building is to be situated opposite to the pre-existing Axel Springer headquarters. A meeting bridge, a ground floor lobby, and a rooftop bar are some of the acclaimed attributes of the design.

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10. THE FACTORY

The first major public building project was taken up by OMA in the United Kingdom. The Art and cultural center, the design establishes a clear geometry in its massing. The design draws parallels from Manchester’s well-known history of merchandise.

The Factory is under construction and will be operated by Manchester International Film Festival. With its unique variety of public spaces, The Factory is set to offer the perfect experience of pop culture, theatre, music, opera, arts, spoken word, and much more.

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Subikshaa Stalin
Author

She is pursuing her bachelor's in architecture at NIT Trichy and dwells in the last pages of notebooks among shabby doodles of her canine friends. She believes every building is not just a combination of apt spaces but an idea capturing a narrative in history that is waiting to be told.

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