Prada Transformer by OMA/Rem Koolhaas 2



Prada Transformer, a portable, shape-shifting cultural pavilion designed by Office for Metropolitan Architecture/Rem Koolhaas, will open to the public tomorrow in Seoul, Korea.


The pavilion - a temporary structure that has to be picked up with three cranes in order to rotate and transform the structure - will accommodate a variety of events in its opening three months including a fashion exhibition, a film festival, an art exhibition, and finally a Prada fashion show.


Designed by OMA’s research, curatorial and publishing unit AMO, the opening event titled Waist Down, will exhibit skirts designed by Miuccia Prada.


More images and details in our earlier story.

Here's further information from OMA:


OMA’s Prada Transformer Opens to Public

(Seoul, 25 April, 2009)

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is proud to announce the opening of the Prada Transformer pavilion, a pioneering temporary structure that will be picked up by cranes and rotated to accommodate a variety of cultural events. The pavilion was opened in Seoul today by the Minister of Culture of South Korea and the Mayor of Seoul in the presence of Miuccia Prada and OMA founder Rem Koolhaas.


The 20-metre high Prada Transformer is located adjacent to the 16th Century Gyeonghui Palace in the centre ofSeoul. The pavilion consists of four basic geometric shapes – a circle, a cross, a hexagon, a rectangle – leaning together and wrapped in a translucent membrane. Each shape is a potential floor plan designed to be ideal for the cultural programming unfolding over the next three months: a fashion exhibition, a film festival, an art exhibition, and finally a Prada fashion show. Walls will become floors and floors will become walls as the pavilion is flipped over by three cranes after each event to accommodate the next.


Rem Koolhaas explained the idea behind the Prada Transformer: “Rather than having one average condition, we conceived a pavilion that, by simply rotating it, acquires a different character and accommodates different needs.” Koolhaas added: “The project is exciting to us because it is the first hybrid between Prada fashion and the Prada Foundation.”


The opening event in the pavilion is an exhibition of skirts designed by Miuccia Prada. Titled Waist Down, the exhibition was designed by OMA’s think-tank, curatorial, and publishing unit AMO. On 26 June, the pavilion will be flipped to accommodate a film festival co-curated by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the Oscar-winning director of Babel (2006), and the critic Elvis Mitchell.Another flip will take place on 30 July, transforming the pavilion into a gallery for an exhibition by Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg, curated by Germano Celant, the artistic director of the Prada Foundation in Milan. The closing event of the pavilion is a Prada fashion show for 500 guests.

OMA/AMO has a long history of collaboration with Prada in multiple disciplines. In 2001 OMA designed the Prada Epicenter Store in New York, followed by the Epicenter in Los Angeles in 2004. AMO has been designing fashion shows for Prada and MiuMiu since 2003 and has been working on since 2006. Currently OMA is designing new exhibition spaces for the Prada Foundation in Milan.

The Prada Transformer project was led by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon, associates Kunlé Adeyemi and Chris van Duijn and design architect Alexander Reichert. The pavilion was made possible by the support of LG Electronics and Hyundai, Red Resource Inc. and the City of Seoul.

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

Posted on Friday April 24th 2009 at 4:50 pm by Rachel Blunstone. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • g

    this is somehow both better and worse than what i expected…

    I still think that the idea that the various shapes are so ideal for their function that such a form is needed is a joke…

    I do, however, like the dumb-ness of it – for what it aims to do, their is an economy of means that is nice

  • g

    I wish the framework were more apparent from the exterior – I think it would have made the contrast with the palace stronger…

  • gaque

    why should you need four huge m-f-ing cranes to change the space a little? the space isnt even very interesting..

  • archcritic


  • R

    ‘ […] by simply rotating it […]’

    I hope the package says that the four cranes necessary are not included.

  • Boby

    I like this way, which makes the multiply effects!

  • ivan zuboticki


  • bibo architect

    its either Very bad space or very very bad photographer!!!

  • kk

    so where’s all the adoring commenters from when the renders were published??

  • Sandor

    @ R:

    ‘by simply rotating it’ is something different then saying that it is simple to rotate. But if all of the comment stick to this level, then I guess none understand what it is about.

    All of you that keep on commenting that things should have a further meaning then just shape, and here you are just commenting that, come on!

  • ab

    at least this is a project trying to do something new, i guess that’s why people are not that aggressive about it.

    it can fail, next one (and maybe by another architect) will be better. popular architects with power should be trying new ideas like this instead of repeating the same shit / signature projects everytime.

  • R

    @Sandor> I see your point. I was not trying to degrade the architecture though, I only found Rem’s comment I mentioned above rather bullshit. I know it is about shape; I can see that and I do not mind it being either. Actually, I like the design as it has something blunt and rough due to direct combination of basic geometrical shapes. I liked the renderings better though as in the actual object the steel frames are not visible enough on the outside.

  • hD

    4 cranes over a week’s time one would imagine is alot cheaper than rebuilding…

  • F.Saster

    i have to say this, it is such a weird idea of one function is base on a geometry, i’m saying it as function follow geometry?!

  • Sandor

    @R: Re-reading my comment I’d have to apologize if I was to blunt. I’d have to disagree with you on stating that it is about shape. For that is, I think it is about shape, but isn’t about shape :) Yes, the shape is chosen for a reasen, but it’s not about making shapes just for that reason. Maybe that is what you meant, I don’t know. But by covering the steel and a direct link to what the shape is, it already becomes clear that it is not about ‘making a nice shape’. I do have doubts on the chosen geometry as being the perfect floorplan per condition.

  • g

    Wow, cheers to Sandor and R!

    Perhaps there is hope for humanity…and the interweb! ;)

  • Nazmy

    The audacity and outrageousness of the ideas spilling from OMA never ceases to amaze me…love their sense of humour as well!!!