Rem Koolhaas, the brilliant, subversive force behind the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, has had a great run with Prada, functioning basically as the fashion label's court architect. In 2001, there was a clever flagship store in SoHo; then came an outlet in LA, an unrealized headquarters in San Francisco, and the exhibition design for a retrospective of Prada's history. The next chapter opens next month: The so-called "Prada Transformer", in Seoul, that is meant to be a shape-shifting cultural pavilion with spaces for art galleries, fashion shows, and outdoor movie screenings.
It's basically a four-sided polyhedron, with a different shape on each face: A circle, a cross, a hexagon, and a square. Here's where it gets interesting though. Using construction cranes, the structure can be rotated to rest on any of its four sides, thus creating a different space and floorplan for numerous functions, from a fashion show to an open air cinema to an art show. Each floor caters to a different art event, and the structure is never completely enclosed, which lends itself to special events like the open air cinema. The images here don't quite do it justice. Check out the videos at the Prada Transformer's website
So far, the events will include an outdoor film series curated by Alejandro GonzГЎlez IГ±ГЎrrituwho directed Babel, 21 Grams, and Amores Perrosand Elvis Mitchell, the dreadlocked, globe-trotting former film-critic from The New York Times; and an exhibition of Prada's fashion history which inaugurates the space on April 25. Further events are TBA.
If you're of a critical mindset, you might be thinking: Why couldn't OMA just create a modular set, with elements that could be wheeled in and out, depending on the event? Certainly, a space that you have to reconfigure with a construction crane seems like a lot of fuss. But Koolhaas really wanted to do is make the architecture itself into an event, rather than just a functional box. Mission accomplished.
Prada Transformer Official Website: http://prada-transformer.com/
Source: "The Prada Transformer: A Shape-Shifting Exhibition Space by Cliff Kuang. Read full article at: http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/cliff-kuang/design-innovation/more-meets-eye-transforming-gallery-space