Thursday, August 30

Talks Joshua Prince-Ramus: Designing the Seattle Central Library

I am in love with a Prince

About this Talk

Architect Joshua Prince-Ramus takes the audience on dazzling, dizzying virtual tours of three recent projects, including the Seattle Central Library, Museum Plaza in Louisville and Dallas' Charles Wyly Theater. Adopting what he describes as a "hyper-rational" approach to architecture, Joshua Prince-Ramus explains how logic can act as the catalyst for extraordinary buildings. He previews an ambitious new theater in Dallas, a hyper-customizable performance space in which everything -- stage, seats, walls, ceiling -- can be altered on the fly. He concludes with an animation of the 1.1-million-square-foot Museum Plaza in Louisville, scheduled for completion in 2010.

Joshua Prince-Ramus: Architect

Joshua Prince-Ramus is best known as architect of the Seattle Central Library, already being hailed as a masterpiece of contemporary culture. Prince-Ramus was US Partner of Rem Koolhaas’ Office of Metropolitan Architecture before founding his own firm, REX, in 2006.
Why you should listen to him:

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 reimagines, 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

Source: TED Ideas Worth Spreading

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