21 Sep 2016, by WouterAalberts
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OMA, the architecture firm founded by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, revealed the rendering of their first residential tower in New York on September 16. Commissioned by Toll Brothers City Living, it will be located as 121 East 22nd Street and designed by Shohei Shigematsu.
The site straddles two separate and distinct neighborhoods: Gramercy Park, a calm oasis formed around a private park and Madison Square, a bustling public space hosting an array activities and commercial programming. This location posed a unique opportunity to provide a dynamic meeting point of these two identities—between classical and contemporary, between quiet streets and bustling avenues.
Shohei Shigematsu commented: “The design of the 133-unit residential block was driven by the duality of its context. Punched windows echoing the façade of its pre-war neighbors seamlessly transition to contemporary, floor-to-ceiling glazed windows towards the corner, forming a gradient from historic to modern.” A cubist collage of multiple intersecting neighborhoods is expressed with a three dimensional, prismatic corner. The corner element provides a distinct facade and frames unique views with intricately folded windows to look up to the sky or down to the lively street.
The Office for Metropolitan Architecture, founded by the renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas , is an international practice operating within the traditional boundaries of architecture and urbanism. It is led by nine partners - Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, David Gianotten, Chris van Duijn, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Jason Long - and maintains offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha and Dubai.
OMA-designed buildings currently under construction include: Taipei Performing Arts Centre, Qatar National Library, Qatar Foundation Headquarters, Bibliothèque Multimédia à Vocation Régionale in Caen, Bryghusprojektet in Copenhagen, Fondation d'Entreprise Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Prince Plaza in Shenzhen, and Faena District in Miami.
Completed projects include: the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, a new building for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (2016); Timmerhuis, new home for Rotterdam’s municipal offices (2015); 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, a large mixed-use tower in the Netherlands (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).
Rem Koolhaas (Rotterdam, 1944) founded OMA in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. He graduated from the Architectural Association in London and in 1978 published Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. In 1995, his book S,M,L,XL summarized the work of OMA in "a novel about architecture". He heads the work of both OMA and AMO, the research branch of OMA, operating in areas beyond the realm of architecture such as media, politics, renewable energy and fashion. Koolhaas is a professor at Harvard University where he conducts the Project on the City. In 2014, he was the director of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, entitled "Fundamentals".