Last week, as I was on the Amtrak to NY, I found myself relaxing, soaking in sunrise on the Connecticut shoreline and FINALLY reading cover to cover through the Vogue September Issue. I had skimmed through the issue a few times already, but this time, I kept finding new amazing features tucked between the pages (it was easy to get lost in there- if you haven’t seen the issue- its 902 pages and weighs 3.76 pounds!) One of my favorite finds was about architect Ole Scheeren. It’s not everyday a fashion magazine writes about architecture so I figured I’d share his work here. Between this article and the feature on Melissa Mayer it was a very nerdy issue! I hope they continue to have more engineering and design features mixed in with fashion.
Scheeren is a German born, Beijing based architect, who at a very young age, already has a resume that rivals some of the world’s best architects. He worked under Rem Koolhaas for 15 years, and together they designed the iconic CCTV building in Beijing. (As the article mentioned, the two had a bit of a falling out, most notably over the design credit for this building)
One characteristic of Scheeren’s buildings is the incredible forms and heights that they achieve. Like many painters, the shape he creates relies as much on “negative space” as it does the actual structure. You can’t help but look at them and think- HOW did they do that?! As a structural engineer, I am scratching my head on a few of these. The Maha Nakon Building looks almost like a Jenga tower, and it will somehow, soon be Bangkok’s tallest building:
Scheeren also has an amazing way with creating architecture as a storytelling element- a journey for the occupant. One incredible project is the floating “Archipelago Cinema” he designed for the Film on the Rocks Yao Noi Festival in Thailand. Attendees were brought to the site in the dark, in boats, and then the lights came up all around them after the films were over, in this most amazing setting. Can you even imagine????
The article mentioned that Scheeren is incredibly influenced by Asian culture and their ideas about personal vs communal space, but that he may be moving back to his native Europe soon. I wonder what direction this new environment will take the young architect next…