Rem’s progress

Dutch architecture practice OMA, led by Rem Koolhaas, has made its mark around the globe with headline projects such as the impossible-seeming CCTV building in Beijing – which looks like four skyscrapers merged into one.

The practice’s first buildings in the UK – the Rothschild Bank HQ in the City of London and a Maggie’s Centre in Glasgow – open this year and the practice’s work will be examined at the OMA/Progress show, which opens at the Barbican next month.

The show is being curated and designed by Belgium-based collective Rotor, which has delved into OMA’s archives and daily practice to present documents, relics and models of its work.

Dubai Renaissance 2006 C OMA
Dubai Renaissance 2006 C OMA

Architectural projects will (obviously) form the core of the show – with work-in-progress buildings such as the Dubai Renaissance hotel studied alongside built projects like the Casa da Música in Portugal.

Casa da Musica 2005  C OMA
Casa da Musica 2005 C OMA

Exhibition highlights will include a drawing showing how to cut the form of CCTV from a single block of foam in four easy steps and a 1:1 footprint plan of the Glasgow Maggie’s Centre.

 CCTV C Rotor
CCTV C Rotor

There will also be graphics work including the ‘barcode’ European flag proposal, which uses the flag colours of each European Union member country and can be adapted to include new members.

EU Barcode 2001 C OMA
EU Barcode 2001 C OMA

For the exhibition, Rotor has opened up the west entrance of the Barbican for what the museum says is the first time in its history, making the exhibition accessible from the high-walks of the Barbican Estate and allowing visotirs to freely walk through the space.

OMA/Progress is at the Barbican Centre, London EC2, from 6 October 2011-19 February 2012.

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