January 30, 2010

Video: Joshua Prince-Ramus - Building a theater that remakes itself



Joshua Prince-Ramus gives a thoughtful and inspiring talk about his recent completed project, the Wyly Theater in Dallas, Texas. The first few minutes are a must see as he takes a step back and discusses the current state of architecture, and the troubling stance architects are taking, giving up power in exchange for less liability - making Architects "for decorative purposes only." Stating that the profession is acting like cowards, he offers an inspiring approach to design and collaboration between architects and clients. Always, well spoken and a talented designer as well, it is fascinating to hear about his design process and the thoughts that lead to his innovative architecture.

Also see his presentation about the Seattle Public Library here: OMA's Joshua Prince-Ramus on Seattle's Public Library

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More info on Joshua Prince-Ramus from TED.com:
With one of the decade's most celebrated buildings under his belt, Joshua Prince-Ramus would seem well-positioned to become the world's next "starchitect." Except that he doesn't want the job. With his quiet intensity and intellectual bearing, Prince-Ramus is the antithesis of the egomaniacal master architect. He flatly rejects not just the title, but the entire notion of a "starchitect" designing with a genius stroke of the pen.

Prince-Ramus is best known for his work — with Rem Koolhaas' radical Dutch architecture firm OMA — on the Seattle Central Library. The striking, diamond-windowed structure re-imagines, to spectacular effect, the library's role in a modern urban context. "Seattle's new Central Library is a blazing chandelier to swing your dreams upon," Herbert Muschamp wrote in The New York Times. "In more than 30 years of writing about architecture, this is the most exciting new building it has been my honor to review."

Having founded the US practice of OMA in 2000, Prince-Ramus split from Rem Koolhaas in May 2006 to found a new firm, REX, with colleague Erez Ella. He continues to take what he describes as a hyper-rational approach to architecture, pushing logic and rational ideas to their limits to create buildings that are unexpected, but wholly appropriate to their environment and intended use. REX's current projects include Museum Plaza in Louisville, the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas; the Vestbanen redevelopment in Oslo, Norway; and the new headquarters for design house Vakko, in Istanbul. REX is also one of five finalists for the Governors Island redevelopment in New York.

"Joshua Prince-Ramus isn't just creating buildings. In a field obsessed with celebrity, he’s putting the work -- and his workers -- first."
Fast Company



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