Jun 26, 2009

OMA's Rotating Pavilion - Prada Transformer

The 20-metre high Prada Transformer is located adjacent to the 16th Century Gyeonghui Palace in the centre of Seoul. 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.”
(to find out more..)

A typical example of Koolhaas' placeless architecture, it choses to be indifferent to the surrounding and creating an interesting juxtaposition of two cultures and time. Even though appearing hostile, the pavilion is the result of an encounter between two icons (Gyeonghui Palace & Prada) from different time and origins that had never quite come together, which further exemplifies each other's identity and statement of its own.
Why bother its hostility since Prada's only going to stay until its job is finished?
Modern, functional, innovative and being temporal is the context.

Another commendable aspect of this well-conceived pavilion is its transformability.
Rather than a typical exhibition typology that requires individual covered spaces for each programs, Prada Transformer is like a folded-up plan. A single huge space where internal surfaces - the floor, walls & ceiling - all act as floor spaces for different programs.
This innovation quite successfully reduces the size and footprint of the structure, making it 'lighter' in many senses; While the down side is that the programs can't operate simultaneously.

What more to say about the interior space?
The honesty of materials and structures, the togetherness between rigid geometries and softness of fabric & daylighting is pretty obvious.
It is unquestionably that the idea behind this design is simply, and strongly expressed through the actual pavilion created, actually, much better than the 3d visualizations published earlier.

posted by afterrabbit

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