The architect Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) are the forces behind some of the most striking structures built in recent years, including the Seattle Central Library and the CCTV headquarters, in Beijing.
The new MOCA (www.mocacleveland.org)
But dozens of architects who were trained at or otherwise passed through Koolhaas’s firm are now spread across the world and beginning to make their mark, observes Metropolis. The magazine dubs them Baby Rems.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, for example, is moving ahead with construction of a striking new building, which features triangular facades that, from certain angles, allow luminescent peeks at the museum’s interior. It’s the handiwork of Foreign Office Architects (FOA), an OMA offshoot.
The Balancing Barn, which has been feted in England (and lives up to its name, cantilevering off into space), is a project of MVRDV, which also traces its roots back to Koolhaas’s office.
Metropolis’s generational schema confuses me—who counts as Generation One, again, and who as Generation Two?—but Work A.C., evidently part of the second wave, has gotten the nod to revitalize the Hua Qiang Bei Road, in Shenzhen, China; the renderings look pretty wild, and also impressive.
All this amounts to another reminder that even architecture, long considered the redoubt of the lone genius (see: Ayn Rand), is in fact better viewed as a shifting network of creative minds with personal, professional, and intellectual ties: a Kaleidoscopic Discovery Engine.
Hat tip to Christopher Shea, WSJ
architects, architecture, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings
Ayn Rand, China, Christopher Shea, Cleveland, Hua Qiang Bei Road, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Shenzhen, The Museum of Contemporary Art, WSJ
By ADA LOUISE HUXTABLE
May 13, 2009
Now that the age of irrational exuberance and outrageous excess is apparently over, can we please talk about real architecture again? It has been fun seeing just how far talent can stretch itself before achieving irrelevancy, but there are diminishing returns in watching more become less in an escalating game of real-estate toys for the superrich. It has been less fun to see how easily, and paradoxically, in a time of extreme affluence, the social contract that is an essential part of the art of architecture has been abrogated. Or at least driven under the radar by the kind of showy construction where creativity and cost are terminally confused. You do begin to wonder what happened to the art that could build with genuine grandeur and still serve and elevate ordinary lives.
The Saratoga Avenue Community Center's exterior with its references to earlier styles.
As the hype and the construction stop, there is much soul-searching talk by born-again architects about modesty, sustainability and social and environmental responsibility. But I find it hard to believe that those operating in the stratosphere of pricey self-indulgence in an undimmed celebrity culture really get it, or that they are having even a tiny epiphany. Architecture has always been the enabler of excess, for better or worse, and architects will succumb again to the same seductive pieties about cutting-edge design and a trickle-down theory that simply doesn’t work. Full article
Cross posted from WSJ
architecture, architecture critic, modern architecture, modern buildings
ADA LOUISE HUXTABLE, Art Deco, Brooklyn, Carlo Scarpa, David Burney, Frank Lloyd Wright, George Ranalli, Housing Authority, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Raimund Abraham, Saratoga Avenue Community Center, Vienna Secession, WSJ