On Hold


Reinier De Graaf, OMA

“On Hold”

Opening: 4th May 2011

H. 18.00 pm Lecture by Reinier De Graaf

Introduced by Pippo Ciorra

The British School

Via Gramsci 61, Rome

In this sixth event of our programme “Three Cities in Flux, an investigation into urban regeneration in London, Milan and Rome”, Reinier de Graaf, Partner of OMA, will present the lecture and exhibition “On Hold”.

De Graaf will exhibit ten of his practice’s masterplanning schemes: urban regeneration in White City in London, Nuova Bovisa in Milan, and a selection of projects in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. As the projects are commissions which are now on-hold or discontinued, the representations exhibited may well be their only physical manifestation.

The architect will discuss the sometimes difficult role that architects play in master planning as they negotiate the forces of the private sector, political pressures, the declining power of the public sector and the severe economic crisis. Through the analysis of these urban plans, De Graaf will reflect on the rehabilitation of urbanism as the ‘other product’ of the construction boom, as well as the implications these plans have for the future.

“What will be next? The current time is mainly one of questions. Will the pre-crisis boom go into the history books as an aberration? Or, will the previous building boom prove only a precursor of things to come?  Is ‘On Hold’ merely a convenient euphemism to keep hope alive (for clients and architects alike), a shared inability to face the facts, or does it really only signify the pause it seems to insist on, a coma from which these enterprises will one day awake?”

Reinier de Graaf is a Partner of OMA, and leads a number of building and urban projects, some of which are displayed in the exhibition.  He is currently working on the Stadskantoor ‘Town Hall’ and Coolsingel Mixed-use Buildings in Rotterdam, the new G-Star Headquarters in Amsterdam, and the Commonwealth Institute in London.  De Graaf also directs the work of AMO, OMA’s research and design studio. While OMA remains dedicated to the realisation of buildings and master plans, AMO operates in fields such as media, sociology, technology, energy, fashion, publishing and graphic design.