Departure signals 'next phase' for architect
Ole Scheeren has announced that he will be leaving Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in order to establish his own studio. In a joint statement released earlier this week he talked of his 'extraordinary experience' at OMA, and founder Rem Koolhaas talked of Scheeren's 'significant role in the development of the office'.
Scheeren was in charge of OMA's work across Asia, leading the firm's Beijing office which, in October last year, was joined by a new Hong Kong office. The torch will now be passed to David Gianotten, previously general manager of OMA Asia, who will see through to completion OMA's numerous projects in the region, including the masterplan study for the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, the Taipei Performing Arts Centre in Taiwan, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Chu Hai College campus in Hong Kong.
"By streamlining OMA’s Beijing operations, expanding its Hong Kong office, and placing both offices under the leadership of David Gianotten, general manager of OMA Asia, OMA believes it will be well positioned to offer its clients across Asia a strong and diversified portfolio of services," reads the statement.
Scheeren joined OMA in 1995, becoming partner in 2002. His departure follows that of colleague and former firm partner Floris Alkemade who left in 2008 also to set up his own firm, Floris Alkemade Architect (FAA). OMA now has five partners: Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Victor van der Chijs and Shohei Shigematsu.
During his time at OMA, Scheeren led several of the firm's projects, including the design and construction of CCTV and TVCC in Beijing, the Prada Epicenters in New York and Los Angeles, the MahaNakhon tower in Bangkok and the Interlace in Singapore.
Rem Koolhaas commented: "Ole has played a significant role in the development of the office and has successfully led the realization of the CCTV project. After 15 years of collaboration, we have now decided to work independently. I am personally looking forward to furthering OMA's activities in Asia."
Scheeren, who has accepted a post as Visiting Professor at Hong Kong University, added: "My collaboration with Rem Koolhaas and OMA has been an extraordinary experience – we have generated some remarkable projects both in East Asia and North America. The time has now come for me to pursue new opportunities, and I am very excited about this next phase of my work."
While no timeline has been confirmed for Schereen's departure, his details have already been removed from the OMA website.
Niki May Young