OMA Universal Studios project records
In December of 1995, the architectural firm OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), founded in 1975 by Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis, Zoe Zenghelis, and Madelon Vriesendorp, was commissioned to design a new headquarters building for MCA, subsequently known as Universal Studios, in Universal City, Los Angeles County, California. The Seagram Company Ltd. (VO), under the direction of CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr., held majority equity in MCA, having purchased it from the Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co. in June of 1995. The commission involved creating a design that would facilitate better collaboration between the different departments at Universal. OMA worked on designs for the headquarters building from 1996 until 1999. At the end of 1999, the project was indefinitely put on hold.
At the beginning of 1999, Rem Koolhaas and Dan Wood founded a new research and design studio called AMO. The creation of AMO was the result of OMA’s experience working on the Universal project. The project had involved reflection on non-architectural issues related to Universal as an organization. This inspired the creation of a studio that would apply architectural thinking to non-architectural questions and supply solutions that were more flexible than the creation of a built work, such as the creation of a web site. The notion of architecture as a field of intellectual research was explored in the CCA exhibition “The Other Architect” (October 28, 2015-April 10, 2016) and the work of AMO was one of many examples of alternative architectural practice presented in the exhibition.
The other architect. Montréal, Québec : Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2015.
Wood, Dan. « Chronicle », A+U, 364 (2001:01), pages 14-26
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