Coup de coeur – "Prada-Transformer" by OMA/Rem Koolhaas

« Milan, March 10, 2009 – Launching in Seoul at the end of April 2009, the highly anticipated Prada Transformer designed by OMA/Rem Koolhaas will showcase a groundbreaking series of cross-cultural exhibitions, screenings and live events. For six months this shape-shifting venue will host multiple interdisciplinary projects, bringing a unique mix of visual arts to Korea.

The Transformer combines the four sides of a tetrahedron: hexagon, cross, rectangle and circle into one pavilion. The building, entirely covered with a smooth elastic membrane, will be flipped using cranes, completely reconfiguring the visitor’s experience with each new programme. Each side plan is precisely designed to organize a different event installation creating a building with four identities. Whenever one shape becomes the ground plan, the other three shapes become the walls and the ceiling defining the space, as well as referencing historic or anticipating future event configurations.

« Waist Down – Skirts by Miuccia Prada », an ongoing project by Miuccia Prada in collaboration with AMO, makes its Korean debut on April 25, showcasing a collection of skirts « in motion » ranging from the first ever Prada show to the present day. Skirts by emerging Korean fashion students will be included to show the interaction between two fashion worlds and to amplify the meaning of fashion from different cultural perspectives.

The exhibition space will then be transformed into a cinema showing a programme of films selected by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the director of Oscar-multinominated Babel. « Flesh, Mind and Soul » is the concept for the unique programme – to be launched on June 26 – co-curated by film critic Elvis Mitchell, spanning multiple genres, countries and decades of filmmaking including a rich and substantial amount of physical, intellectual and spiritual films that will create a whole cinematic experience.

Additionally an art installation by Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg entitled « Turn into Me », (2008-2009), curated by Germano Celant, will be presented. The installation will consist of several three dimensional constructions inside of which provocative and ironic short animated video works will be projected onto video screens. « Turn into Me » was presented in April 2008 at the Fondazione Prada in Milan. For the exhibition in Seoul an additional work has been added to the original group extending the Milan presentation.

Djurberg’s videos are made using stop-motion techniques where small clay or plasticine figures create and interact in surreal atmospheres. The sensation is reinforced throughout all of the works by the accompanying music soundtracks which are composed by the Swedish composer, Hans Berg.

Further cultural activities will be announced in the lead-up to the launch of the project. Prada and the Prada Foundation have combined their resources with their local partners’ to develop an extraordinary programme for the Prada Transformer’s innovative, changing stages. As the fields of fashion, art, film, design and performance now inform and influence each other with increasing diversity and complexity, this programme aims to stimulate and embrace multi-disciplinarian discourse.

Situated next to the 16th-century Gyeonghui Palace, the Prada Transformer – realized with the support of LG Electronics, Hyundai Motor Company and Red Resource Inc. – dramatically juxtaposes Korean history, tradition and folklore with this 21st-century multi-dimensional event space. Due to Seoul Metropolitan Government’s passion and dedication to cultural projects, the Prada Transformer was well received and fully supported by the City. Visibly attuned to Seoul’s modern positioning as a forward-looking and technologically advanced metropolis, the Prada Transformer is part of Prada’s global commitment to the production of new realities in fashion, art, architecture and creative culture.

The architectural project is led by Rem Koolhaas together with associates Kunle Adeyemi and Chris van Duijn, and design architect Alexander Reichert.

As of today, the Prada Transformer is also visible online on www.pradatransformer.co.kr. The website is the result of a collaboration between Prada, AMO – the mirror image think tank of Rem Koolhaas’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture — and 2×4, a multidisciplinary design studio from NY focusing on art, architecture, and fashion world wide.

The concept of the site is strongly linked to the architectural project. Equal to the built pavilion, which transforms to accommodate different events, the website regenerates its graphics and contents according to the changes in use of the actual structure along time. The main navigation system is a timeline which allows users to intuitively scroll back and forward revealing the calendar of the pavilion and the related content. »

For more information…

(Source: Press release from Prada-Transformer website. Thx to Nicolas Marier for the info.)

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