Office for Metropolitan Architecture

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA ), the Rotterdam-based architecture firm of Dutch architect and Pritzker Prize winner Rem Koolhaas. OMA operates internationally and is one of the most renowned representatives of avant-garde contemporary architecture. Connected to the office of the think tank AMO, the projects beyond architecture and urbanism is processed.


The office was founded in 1975 by Elia Zenghelis his former students Rem Koolhaas and Madelon Vriesendorp and Zoe Zenghelis. 1984, the Head of the office was moved to Rotterdam. At times, even Zaha Hadid and Kees Christiaanse employees or partners were of the office. In 1987, Elia Zenghelis withdrew from the office.

Corporate Structure

OMA is organized as an association of equal partners. The current partners Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf, Ellen van Loon, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, David Gianotten, and Managing Partner Victor van Chijs. The office employs about 220 staff from 35 countries. OMA operates branch offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York.


The buildings and projects of OMA are distinguished by their conceptual approach, incorporated in to the designs with a wide research, which are summarized in graphs and often directly in the spatial conceptions of the building. The diagram serves as visualized research results to the complexity of the task on a conceptual level usable break down. It therefore serves not only as a means of communication but is used by OMA aware of the design process to generate concepts.

Formal links the earlier work of the office a Collagenhaftigkeit that is often riddled with architectural references of classical modernism ( as one finds, for example, at the Villa Dall'Ava in Paris ironic quotes on Le Corbusier also built in Paris iconic Villa Savoye ). A recurring element is the spatial penetration, resolution of the rigid Geschossbauens. In the Kunsthal in Rotterdam are inclined planes and ramps that connect the floors together at Maison a Floirac is an open elevator stamp that travels along a several storey high wall of books, the central spatial element. In the Netherlands Embassy, a ferry called spatial sculpture folds as development through all floors, the hall of the Opera House from Porto acts like the sculptural solidity of the building just inserted.

Realized structures ( selection)


  • 2004: RIBA Gold Medal ( UK)
  • 2005: Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture for the design of the new Embassy of the Netherlands in Berlin.

Publications (selection )

  • OMA and Bruce Mau, SML XL, Monacelli Press, New York 1995, ISBN 978-1-885254-01-6
  • OMA, Content, Taschen Verlag, Cologne 2004, ISBN 978-3-8228-3070-3
  • Grandma, What is OMA? Considering Rem Koolhaas and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, NAi Publishers, Rotterdam 2004, ISBN 978-90-5662-349-4
  • OMA and Francois Chaslin, The Dutch Embassy in Berlin by OMA / Rem Koolhaas, NAi Publishers, Rotterdam 2004, ISBN 978-90-5662-356-2
  • Koolhaas, Rem, Delirous New York - A retroactive manifesto for Manhattan, Aachen 1999, ISBN 978-3-931435-00-4
  • Koolhaas, Rem (ed. ); among other things, Colours, Birhäuser Basel, 2001, ISBN 978-3-7643-6569-1
  • Koolhaas, Rem; Kwinter, Sanfort; and others ( eds.) Mutations, Actar Barcelona 2001, ISBN 978-84-95273-51-2