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 prada.com 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.