Rem Koolhass Planning Application for Commonwealth Institute Revealed

By OMA (Rem’s practice) and West 8, Application submitted to K&C.

The scheme of ‘enabling development’ for the refurbishment of the original building – to become a new home for the Design Museum – seems to have been reduced by 2 storeys from before.

I have to be very restrained when talking about Rem, I have worked with home before and disagree about almost everything, his dislike of urbanism and urban design, his view that buildings should be designed to be seen when driving past by a car, and his idea of ‘generic cities’ that look the same everywhere.

This building though – the aesthetics of the mutli-storey car park.  Surely the organic form and lightness of constyruction and use of materials of the original Commonwealth centre are a clue, a building as a pavillion rising out of Holland Park not plonked on it.

As Stephen Baylay has said in the Observer ‘the cartoonishly hip, Prada-clad globaliser who… would like it very much if he could design the whole world. Then Balham could look exactly like Bahrain and his design project would be complete.’

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