A EUROPEAN CREATIVE GENIUS IN ASIA

p56With a knack for producing cutting-edge and unconventional architectural designs, starchitect Ole Scheeren has been actively challenging imaginations in Asia, spreading iconic buildings throughout major cities in the region.

Text by Isabelle Pinto

Photography by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren ©OMA & Wing Shya

Ole ScheerenGerman-born architect, Ole Scheeren is indeed a well-known figure in the architectural arena. Deemed a starchitect on par with the likes of Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry, he is indeed a force to be reckoned with in the industry, boasting a wide portfolio of award-winning designs mainly in Asia. Taking architecture to the next level, his designs are known to verge on the ‘impossible’ with a literally out-of-the-box uniqueness that make them stand out amongst the conventionality that surrounds them.

Currently based in Beijing with his own architectural firm, Buro Ole Scheeren, the celebrity architect initially rose to fame after leading the design of the iconic yet controversial CCTV building- China Central Television’s broadcasting headquarters-in Beijing. The cutting-edge design of the building which resembles an angular arch, connects two slanting towers at the peak as well as the base, going against the conventions of singular block high-rises. Besides becoming an iconic landmark and tourist attraction in Beijing, the unique structure also won the “Best Tall Building” award by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in 2013.

Koolhaas’ influence

p56cScheeren’s inclination towards architecture was seen way back in his younger years when he was still an adolescent. He was immersed into the field at a very young age due to influence from his father-an architect who taught at a local university. Working at his father’s studio from the age of 14, he initially found the profession rather unappealing, deciding never to venture into the field.

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