OMA USA Branch: Personnel Crisis

OMA USA Branch: Personnel Crisis
OMA USA Branch: Personnel Crisis

Together with 35 architects, Ramus received two major projects from his former boss - the Annenberg Center for Information, Science and Technology in Pasadena and the Museum Plaza complex in Louisville. Since both were developed in detail at OMA New York, the transition should be painless for the building customers.

Now Prince Ramus has opened Ramus Ella Architects - or REX - with another former Koolhaas architect, Israeli Erez Ella.

The Wiley Theater in Dallas, which will begin construction this summer, will be jointly controlled by OMA and REX. It should be noted that this is already the second change in the leadership of the development of this project: in 2003, Dan Wood left the company of Rem Koolhaas (now he runs the "Work Architecture" workshop), at that time - the chief architect of the Wiley Theater. But then the separation went less smoothly than now: Wood was deprived of participation in all the projects of the bureau in which he was involved.

Ramus owned 50% of OMA New York and bought the remainder from Koolhaas. The reason for his departure was a copyright problem: according to Prince Ramus, his contribution to the Seattle Central Library project was undervalued (although it was for him he received the status of a partner in OMA), and Museum Plaza has nothing to do with OMA Rotterdam and Koolhaas himself.

Such situations are typical for many large architecture firms that attract talented young architects to work, who, in turn, seek to gain valuable experience before starting an independent career. But at OMA, it is believed that due to Koolhaas's complex nature and heavy workload, the best employees of the younger generation are leaving more often. Former employees of this bureau include Winy Maas of MVRDV, Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Farshid Moussavi of FOA, architects of the recently disbanded PLOT.

Koolhaas himself refers to this philosophically. Although he admits that he regrets the departure of his subordinates, he still believes that the new staff refresh the workshop; if no one left OMA, sixty-one-year-old Rem Koolhaas, he said, would now be surrounded by subordinates who would be at least 55 years old.

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