Museum Plaza, REX
By Maxime Moreau
[Video by Brooklyn Digital Foundry]
Here again, we easily distinguish REX‘s operation to comb, consolidate, and identify a set of programmatic clusters designed with different purposes: a 5,000 m² contemporary art centre; 3,400 m² of studios, glass shop, and gallery for the University of Louisville’s Master of Fine Arts program; a 250-room Westin Hotel; 98 luxury condominiums; 117 lofts; 25,000 m² of office space on 13 floors; 1,860 m² of restaurants and shops; underground parking garage for 800 cars.
The final result is a 214-meter-tall, 62-story skyscraper, displaying another distinctive and iconic figure which participates in what Koolhaas describes as: “an archipelago of cities in the city”. One might see a collection of traditional skyscrapers placed on top of each other above a traditional urban pattern, but in reality, even if the Museum Plaza doesn’t revise the superposition of floors in the typical American high-rise -in the same way as the Seattle Library- this project is a beautiful and inventive variation on the classic skyscraper; a new vision of skyscraper. The Museum Plaza will doubtless redefine the Louisiana skyline and certainly change the way architects, urbanists, and engineers shall think about tomorrow’s new high-rises and the process of urbanization.