snohetta design process


Wideangle documentary following Snohetta through the competition for Ras Al-Khaimah (city masterplan, then an Iconic Congress Center. Interesting depiction of their design process, client relationship, etc. Has anyone seen it? Any comments?

Jul 26, 07 11:06 am

although i've never been a fan of snohetta, i loved when he poured desert sand onto the conference room table..."so, this is the sand" was quite poetic...

Jul 26, 07 11:08 am

well done documentary. the client interaction scenes are painful at times but impossible not to watch. particularly, i'm thinking of the scene where the gov. minister is asking for more icon, like the pyramids, and the snohetta arch. is saying yes we are trying to give you something relevant.

Jul 26, 07 11:18 am

Is Christof Kapellar still doing work with Snohetta, or did they go their separate ways after the Alexandria Library?

Jul 26, 07 11:44 am

rationalist...i don't know about Kapellar, but Kjetil Thorsen was the design principal in the documentary...

waxwings...the gov. minister was so tough to read during presentations, but i thought all his comments to be very valuable...i also think the project improved throughout the process because of the comments...

Jul 26, 07 11:59 am

Architects invade reality TV... interesting. Great documentary. The minister was a hardass but also very constructive, even though they are clearly not interested in humble intergation into the site. Its too bad they couldn't meet with the Sheik BEFORE they did all that work... they would have known what he was looking for!

Does simon cowel know architects are willing to do this??

Jul 26, 07 1:10 pm

conormac -humble integration is a good description of the initial snohetta proposal and their master planning was centered around more of a site approach (although less humble given the proposed canal). there was also the idea that the gov. bldgs would provide relief to the vert. of the oma master planning scheme. this got a little lost as the minister required highway appeal.

Jul 26, 07 4:26 pm

I can't access this documentary in my geographical region apparently. Sucks.

Jul 26, 07 7:55 pm

Ah, found a 4 minute thing on youtube. Is that all of it?
The silence after he presses the ruler into the sand and says 'that was my idea" really reminds me of certain moments at school...

Jul 26, 07 8:00 pm

Nope it ain't all of it. Sucks.

Jul 26, 07 8:15 pm

yeah, the whole "curb appeal" really was lost on me...

i guess that's what happens when you live surrounded by people that have no ability to make money other than the massive mineral fields they lucked into residing over.

it was extremely interesting to watch snohetta lose the planning aspect and try to save face. i think that showing that reality totally made the documentary worth watching.

for those outside the viewing area:

video and transcript here

Jul 26, 07 11:52 pm

RG where you at?

Jul 26, 07 11:57 pm

the one scene where the camera really felt present was when snohetta received oma's master plan. the reaction was something like "oh, this is quite nice." (although only briefly shown, oma's plan looked a little like stamp of manhattan). a "wtf is this!" (tranlated from norwegian, of course) would have been great.

can we get more tv like this?!

Jul 27, 07 12:06 am

yeah. PBS has been holding their own for the last few weeks.

the night before was steven holl on charlie rose, and i actually didn't want to vomit (holl used to make me want to kill myself cos he talks so much shit, but his buildings are slowly turning around for me)!

charlie rose has video archives online, can check out portzamparc and rem waaay back in the day. he's been pimpin the architects out for quite some time.

Jul 27, 07 12:19 am

architechnophilia, I'm in the UK. The vids don't load. Now I REALLY want to watch this...

Jul 27, 07 7:00 am

granted i've only watched a few minutes of this so far, but already i've heard the word 'sustainable' used repeatedly, mostly in the context of business/economic activity. i'm curious whether they'll get to the 'sustainable' conversation that has to do with getting all the resources a city needs to a place out in the desert? besides all of the construction materials and equipment, the food, the paper, the power plants, means of transportation, whatever - the supply of fresh water would be the obvious question. isn't that what we keep hearing is the next shortage behind oil?

Jul 27, 07 7:29 am

Good for them!
(Craig Dykers is a Deuche)

Jul 27, 07 7:39 am

ya dubai is sustainable like Las Vegas.
(read that again on sarcastic wednesday)

I understand the highway appeal in commercial, bread-and-circuses, keep the people happy type way... was a little aprehensive of the 'persian carpet' metaphore.. totally smitten by the canal idea (yes, totally not 'humble'), and impressed when the shiek asked for a pedestrian integration with the city (did he ever get that?)

.............and i kinda have a crush on the host/journalist lady.

Jul 27, 07 1:16 pm

i loved the request for pedestrian integration and an openess to the city (by the sheikh in the final presentation);

imho, the desire by the client was to have an iconic building...architectural icons, to be easily received, are usually read in elevation...i agreed with the minister comment and concern...(remember, humility was not really in the clients vocabulary for this project)...their solution was brilliant, not only keeping their own initial thought, but also providing the icon itself in the tower, and a place from which to observe the original "persian rug" icon...

roedgroed...sorry about not being able to see the show...the program is called wideangle, and i think it happens weekly or monthly...maybe you can try to access it from Rio...

conormac...she used to be in the BBC world news a few years back...that's when i developed my crush on Daljit! smart women with warm smiles...(my wife also found her attractive, which got me off the hook!)

Jul 27, 07 2:20 pm

was the rug/carpet actually described as "persian"
wouldn't that be an issue on the arab penisula???

ditto on daljit,
my wife likes to repeat her name

Jul 27, 07 3:03 pm

I was def. impressed with their ability to satisfy demands for an 'icon' while keeping their original vision pretty much intact... even improved in some ways (imho), as simples, noted, cuz the tower made the areal (sp) view real and not helecopters-and-renderings-only...

hmmm you are right I bet they called it an "arabian carpet"....

Jul 31, 07 1:19 pm

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