Ole Scheeren, Ground Up

Ole Scheeren is the head of all Asian operations of OMA, the ground-breaking Dutch architecture firm led by Rem Koolhaas. Scheeren moved to Beijing in the mid-’00s to supervise the building of CCTV, the highly-publicized state television building. The last time I spoke to him was two years ago for a feature in PIN-UP and at the time he seemed under pressure to finish the project in time for the Beijing Olympics. With only minor interior work on CCTV remaining, German-born 38-year-old Scheeren is now concentrating on OMA’s newest venture in Asia: MahaNakhon, a spectacular tower in downtown Bangkok, whose design is entirely the brainchild of his Beijing office. MahaNakhon is far from being a generic office tower: the glass and steel shaft is broken up by little pixel-like units revealing themselves to be apartments, terraces, and balconies that spiral around the building from the top all the way down to the ground—something Scheeren also understands as a nod to the architectural diversity in Bangkok and that of the country as a whole. At 1000 ft. MahaNakhon will be the tallest building in all of Thailand… and if Scheeren has his way, it will soon also be the one contemporary building that country will be most proud of.

Read the full interview on Art in America‘s web site.
Felix Burrichter is Editor/Creative Director of PIN-UP.