PRINT October 2008


OMA/AMO at the Hermitage

IN THESE TIMES of requisite urban branding, the likes of Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid must be putting in extra hours at the office. Countless cities and cultural institutions are rethinking how to make their mark on the global map—and architects and curators alike are meeting this desire with original (or not so original) marketing ideas. Herzog & de Meuron’s imminent Tate Modern extension in London, the Guggenheim and Louvre Abu Dhabi, you name it—all of these institutions are convinced that the only way forward is a radical redefinition of their spatial envelope in order to communicate a simple message: We are here and we are new!

Indeed, AMO—Rem Koolhaas’s mysterious research counterpart to his architectural firm, OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture, based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands)—tells us that “in light of the radical expansion of globalized systems, social interests and

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