Prada Transformer by OMA/Rem Koolhaas

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Prada Transformer, a portable, shape-shifting cultural pavilion designed by Office for Metropolitan Architecture/Rem Koolhaas, will make its first appearance in Seoul, Korea next month.

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Commissioned by fashion brand Prada, the pavilion takes the form of a tetrahedron with one hexagonal face, one cross-shaped face, one rectangular face and one circular face.

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By flipping the pavilion so that the different faces lie on the ground the Transformer can host different events such as exhibitions, fashion shows and film screenings.

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See all our stories about Rem Koolhaas and OMA in our featured designer category.

Here's some info from OMA:

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THE PRADA TRANSFORMER

A state of the art project space

Seoul, Korea

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Milan, March 10, 2009 - Launching in Seoul at the end of April 2009, the highly anticipated Prada Transformer designed by OMA/Rem Koolhaas will showcase a groundbreaking series of cross-cultural exhibitions, screenings and live events. For five months this shape-shifting venue will host multiple interdisciplinary projects, bringing a unique mix of visual arts to Korea.

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The Transformer combines the four sides of a tetrahedron: hexagon, cross, rectangle and circle into one pavilion. The building, entirely covered with a smooth elastic membrane, will be flipped using cranes, completely reconfiguring the visitor's experience with each new programme. Each side plan is precisely designed to organize a different event installation creating a building with four identities. Whenever one shape becomes the ground plan, the other three shapes become the walls and the ceiling defining the space, as well as referencing historic or anticipating future event configurations.

"Waist Down - Skirts by Miuccia Prada", an ongoing project by Miuccia Prada in collaboration with AMO, makes its Korean debut on April 25, showcasing a collection of skirts "in motion" ranging from the first ever Prada show to the present day. Skirts by emerging Korean fashion students will be included to show the interaction between two fashion worlds and to amplify the meaning of fashion from different cultural perspectives.

The exhibition space will then be transformed into a cinema showing a programme of films selected by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the director of Oscar-winning Babel. "Flesh, Mind and Soul" is the concept for the unique programme - to be launched on June 26 - co-curated by film critic Elvis Mitchell, spanning multiple genres, countries and decades of filmmaking including a rich and substantial amount of physical, intellectual and spiritual films that will create a whole cinematic experience.

Subsequently, the Prada Foundation will present an exhibition, "Beyond Control", curated by Germano Celant, which will 'transform' the interior of the architectural object by OMA into an inspiring magma of works by some of the most significant contemporary artists.

Further cultural activities will be announced in the lead-up to the launch of the project. Prada and the Prada Foundation have combined their resources with their local partners' to develop an extraordinary programme for the Prada Transformer's innovative, changing stages. As the fields of fashion, art, film, design and performance now inform and influence each other with increasing diversity and complexity, this programme aims to stimulate and embrace multi-disciplinarian discourse.

Situated next to the 16th-century Gyeonghui Palace, the Prada Transformer - realized with the support of LG Electronics, Hyundai Motor Company and Red Resource Inc. - dramatically juxtaposes Korean history, tradition and folklore with this 21st-century multi-dimensional event space. Due to Seoul Metropolitan Government's passion and dedication to cultural projects, the Prada Transformer was well received and fully supported by the City. Visibly attuned to Seoul's modern positioning as a forward-looking and technologically advanced metropolis, the Prada Transformer is part of Prada's global commitment to the production of new realities in fashion, art, architecture and creative culture.

The architectural project is led by Rem Koolhaas together with associates Kunle Adeyemi and Chris van Duijn, and design architect Alexander Reichert.

As of today, the Prada Transformer is also visible online on pradatransformer.co.kr. The website is the result of a collaboration between Prada, AMO - the mirror image think tank of Rem Koolhaas's Office for Metropolitan Architecture -- and 2x4, a multidisciplinary design studio from NY focusing on art, architecture, and fashion world wide.

The concept of the site is strongly linked to the architectural project. Equal to the built pavilion, which transforms to accommodate different events, the website regenerates its graphics and contents according to the changes in use of the actual structure along time.

The main Miuccia Prada - "Waist Down - Skirts by Miuccia Prada" Exhibition

After creating sensations in Tokyo, Shanghai, New York and Los Angeles, this amusingly displayed exhibition of Prada skirts 'in motion' comes to Seoul.

The skirt is often overlooked as a medium of invention, at once flirtatious, imaginative, enigmatic and structural. Here Miuccia Prada and OMA/AMO playfully re-examine the ability of the skirt to prompt further cultural and emotional explorations of desire, sex and identity. For more information, please visit www.prada.com

Alejandro González Iñárritu - Cinema Programme: "Flesh, Mind and Soul"
The director of Oscar-multinominated Babel, 21 Grams and Amores Perros is one of the key protagonists of the Mexican new wave of directors who have made a huge impact on cinema in recent years.

The film programme is based on physical, intellectual and spiritual films that attend, shake and speak to the different parts with which we feel and perceive cinema. Co-curated by renowned film critic Elvis Mitchell, the unique grouping of films should leave viewers "both sated and hungry for more".

Elvis Mitchell is a former film critic of the New York Times and has most recently turned his talents to television, hosting KCRW's The Treatment and his own show Under the Influence for Turner Classic Movies.

Iñárritu's hard hitting and powerful style of filmmaking is grounded in a strong sense of neo-realism, often featuring character-driven, method actors like Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, Cate Blanchett and Naomi Watts. His stories always have a political and social commentary underlying their plots, which at their core tend to focus on the fragility of family relationships.

Fondazione Prada - Art Installation: "Beyond Control"
Founded 15 years ago, the Fondazione Prada, conceived by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli and directed by Germano Celant, has strived to create a 'force field' in which all artistic languages might converge and radiate energies. This perspective has enabled the Fondazione to centre its commitments on the creation of unique projects, installations, exhibitions, conventions and festivals in which 'impossible' ideas might be brought to fruition. For more information, please visit www.fondazioneprada.org

  • http://www.lgblog.co.uk Helen-LG

    What a fantastic idea, I’d love to see the place in person!

    Are those real photos of it in-situ though? It looks rather .. grey and unexciting there!

  • Brett

    Uh I’ll believe it when I see it

  • fvale

    ahah long time no see old school rem :)
    it’s nice to see that he still has that “archigram posture”.

  • batman

    i think there is more than meets the eye

  • http://- m

    I’m surprised he didn’t bring out the death-star again.
    I don’t think he’s used it for any korean projects yet.

    What’s wrong Rem. . . don’t like the death-star anymore?
    Oh. it’s all about tetrahedron’s now. Oh I see. . .they are so much more spacially suprior. Yeah I guess.
    My bad. Sorry.

  • charles

    so it rolls? you roll it to “transform”?

    reminds me of….
    http://www.auscillate.com/post/35

  • marcos

    simply amazing!

  • gaque

    how do you flip the building anyway? i guess you need a couple huge cranes? wow, how elegant.

  • matt

    you need two cranes to flip it
    the first one pulls a corner
    the second one pulls another corner

    i like the program timeline optimisation

  • Boccaccio

    This reminds of me of space garbage that might be floating around the set of the first Terminator. Primarily forgettable.

    I think Remmy’s getting mentally impaired. This fits into the ‘why try’ category. Doesn’t do Prada justice. Move on Miuccia.

  • Mandy

    anybody wondering about the female figures in the model that don’t have heads????????????
    women-troble at the office maybe???

  • Q

    real original thinking of the space, could be interesting

  • holterbarbour

    The grey and uninviting area is typical of Seoul in winter. However, as grey and dismal as it is in winter, it is the polar opposite in warmer weather– it’s incredibly lush and green in the spring and summer.

  • Sub-Prime

    These visuals are very depressing. It looks like they were put together in an afternoon, which is OK…but personally, I have come to expect a bit more of Rem. This is a disappointing project and I believe that it will be remembered (or not as the case may be) as a once-off gimmick. I agree with Boccaccio…Prada does deserve more than this.

    This is the first OMA project that hasn’t made me feel excited in some way…I hope that Rem is back on form again soon.

  • sullka

    Actually, Sub-Prime, I feel the opposite, this is the first OMA project in ages that’s exciting, so simple yet so powerfull.

    Here’s a link with the construction proccess, yes they’ll use cranes to move it around as you can see in the video feature.

    http://www.prada-transformer.com/

  • claude.mallia

    rem, you got the wrong ppl at your office, hire me.

  • Marcus Des

    Let’s please realize that Rem, as well as his fellow starchitects, in between flying from one building site to another sometimes nods his approval when glancing at an idea one of his underlings came up with. Rem doesn’t actually design anything, he oversees. And takes credit.

  • granny

    the anti-blob.
    and that would be a dig at certain female architect?

  • jeff

    Here we go again, he is like the Paris Hilton of architecture, the usual over the top hype about NOTHING

  • http://www.odris.blogspot.com odris

    wow, stunning!

  • http://fairdkun.multiply.com slothglut

    i have to say [not that it does matter in any way], that finally i got something i was waiting for from the dutchman.
    he shows that he, in fact, deserves all the recognition that he got. and some more.

  • ashtree

    as a person who has been at that site in Seoul, I dont know if that would make the place any exciting… as the look of the image shown on top.
    The place is quite grey and may seem boring at the first instacne, but underlays traces of how they have built up the city from.. and that district is like the main core…
    In my opinion, as barely from the images here, its too alien-like…very personal view maybe.

  • brandon pass

    PURE EXCESS….PURE WASTE. ALL HERALD THE NEW WORLD ORDER OF ARCHITECTURE WHERE THE SO CALLED STAR ARCHITECTS WILL FALL DUE TO THEIR INCOMPATIBILITY, AND NON=ECONOMICALLY VIABLE PROJECTS.

    THANK GOD FOR THE GLOBAL RECESSION TO PRUNE THE EXCESSIVE GROWTH OF ARCHITECTURE.

  • mama

    REM + PRADA = EVIL

  • http://dhc.com dhc

    Simple and “UNsophisticated” with an extremely literal interpretation of the concept. I mean anti-blob how about anti-Ego,anti green. Saw the video looked like some intelligent folks were in that room all suited up taking notes and all. Hope their objections were deleted because they had to have some this project is ridiculous.

  • Vic

    at the video all he says:
    “This is perfect for de Prada ashion show…
    This is perect for de cinema…
    This is perfect for an exhibition…”
    But doesn´t exlpain why..
    I mean, why is the circle perfect for de Prada fashion show and no the rectangle… I guess it must be an explanation, otherwise is like someone said over me… “looks like that pieces were put together one evening…”
    My apoligies if my English isn´t the best, I´m from Uruguay and it´s been years since I don´t speak or write in English.

  • http://klaustoon.wordpress.com/ Art