Cut, by OMA and MVRDV

OMA - Julianaplein, The Hague (Copyright OMA)
OMA - Koningin Julianaplein, The Hague (Copyright OMA)

For me it is certainly one of the most fascinating works of OMA, this design for the Koningin Julianaplein in The Hague. In no other project, I think, the notion of the object is so far reduced as here. What is left is pure mass that is cut and sliced to make it permeable. It is the blue foam that finally became a building.

The uniform façade cladding underscores this idea of the ‘solid’, masking equally the offices, apartments and shops behind it.

Originally the building had a tripod-form, but we read at the website of OMA: “The third wing, which in an earlier version extended into the park, proved not to be feasible partly for political reasons and we have opted to simply cut off this unwanted extension.”

The metaphor OMA used for this ‘cutting’ at their exhibition in The Hague earlier this year was the ‘cutting’ of arms of sculptures, for instance like the Venus de Milo in the Louvre.

Venus de Milo, Louvre (Photograph: Wikipedia)
Venus de Milo, Louvre (Photograph: Wikipedia)

Curiously, when reading the KM3 book of MVRDV, I found they did an office building in the city of Almere a while back. Ironically located in the masterplan designed by… OMA, the ex-employer of two of the three partners of MVRDV. Their design for the office building featured a ‘Centre Pompidou’-like configuration with a box with open floors, and sculptural stairs and a lift attached to it in the exterior. Rem Koolhaas didn’t like it as he thought it would attract visitors to the planned spectacular architectures further away in his masterplan. We read: “The arms were withdrawn. We kept the openings in the facade as the trace of this amputation done by our colleagues.”

MVRDV - Office Building, Almere (Photographer Michiel van Raaij)
MVRDV - Office Building, Almere (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

To end this story of two architects with the same attitude, I just want to show these photographs of the amazing Content exhibition a while back already, which showed the working models of the Koningin Julianaplein project. 

OMA - Julianaplein, The Hague at the Content Exhibition (Photographer Michiel van Raaij)
OMA - Koningin Julianaplein, The Hague at the Content Exhibition (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

OMA - Julianaplein, The Hague at the Content Exhibition (Photographer Michiel van Raaij)
OMA - Koningin Julianaplein, The Hague at the Content Exhibition (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

OMA - Julianaplein, The Hague at the Content Exhibition (Photographer Michiel van Raaij)
OMA - Koningin Julianaplein, The Hague at the Content Exhibition (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Related OMA: The World, by OMA, Filmstrips, by OMA, Manhattan Bar Chart, by OMA, Bookcase, by OMA, Amethyst, by OMA.

Related MVRDV: Barrio Bajo, by MVRDV, Fortress, Sky, by MVRDV

The projects are added to the Architects, Representation, and Top 10 pages.


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