posted by on 2007.05.18, under Uncategorized

I found out about a sweet new project by my favorite architecture firm, OMA, yesterday – the Ras al Khaimah Convention and Exhibition Centre in Dubai. Twas linked on Coudal of course. Seems they are tired of the competing radical formalism of contemporary skycrapers, and decided to take it back to basics in order to create a form that stands out in the crowd. And by basics, there are talking ideal form. Sphere. Rectangle. A natural form and a man made form. Or is it a weaponized moon, and an alien placed form?

Of course there is some precedent for this in architectural history, Boulee experimented with the ideal form of the sphere in his drawings, as did Ledoux.
There was Buckminster Fuller at Disney’s Epcot, one of the many places he erected a sphere.
But, more important to Koolhaas and OMA, there was the Trylon and Perisphere at the New York World’s fair back in 1939. He has written extensively about these as part of his “retroactive manifesto for New York”, Delirious New York.
One thing you can be certain of, OMA has anticipated all of these comparisons and references, as well as some others I am sure. They do have a sense of humor over there, and that is part of what makes their work so great.
Check out their project page here.
For another little write-up on the project, go here.

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