The Prada Transformer was a rotating cultural pavilion with four moveable sides. Shaped like a tetrahedron it offers 4 distinct façades: a cross, a rectangle and a circle, which may be rotated to the required event. The pavilion housed four events devoted to art, film, fashion and the broader culture of Prada.
Koolhaas: “Rather than having one average condition, we conceived a pavilion that, by simply rotating it, acquires a different character and accommodates different needs.”
The six-month installation in 2009 was on the grounds of the historic Gyeonghui Palace at the center of Seoul, Korea. The Prada Transformer was designed by Rem Koolhaas with Kunlé Adeyemi and Alexander Reichert and built with the support of LG Electronics, Hyundai Motor Company and Red Resource. On the website of OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) the Prada Transformer is described as follows:
“The 20-metre high Prada Transformer is located adjacent to the 16th Century Gyeonghui Palace in the centre of Seoul. The pavilion consists of four basic geometric shapes – a circle, a cross, a hexagon, a rectangle – leaning together and wrapped in a translucent membrane. Each shape is a potential floor plan designed to be ideal for the cultural programming unfolding over the next three months: a fashion exhibition, a film festival, an art exhibition, and finally a Prada fashion show. Walls will become floors and floors will become walls as the pavilion is flipped over by three cranes after each event to accommodate the next.”
Rem Koolhaas explained the idea behind the Prada Transformer: “Rather than having one average condition, we conceived a pavilion that, by simply rotating it, acquires a different character and accommodates different needs.”
Nowadays, the results of events inside the Prada Transformer can be seen online on http://prada-transformer.com/ and is definitely worth to watch. Several videos like timelapse, transformation and presentation showcase the whole process of the transformation. A category “student takeover” showcases interesting designs and videos and thoughts by Korean students which is initiates through the Prada Transformer.
The Prada Transformer is an interesting kinetic installation, despite that the actual movement it is almost never viewable. It is more the concept of transformation and movement itself that makes this project so unique. Through this concept possibilities and quality can be achieved then compared to static solutions. The whole installation is reduced to the minimum required use of materials, construction, openings and etc. This is needed to make a clear and strong statement. Therefore is the Prada Transformer not just an initiator for thoughts by students like the “student takeover”. Actually it is initiator for creative thoughts for the possible dimensions that through kinetic architecture are reachable. We at KineticArchitecture.Net are looking forward to find new even more complex and permanent projects all over the world in the near future…
image courtesy by prada, oma and iwan baan
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