Apr 22, 2009
Download the article
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

Shape-shifting Transformer makes debut at ancient palace

Apr 22, 2009

SEOUL, April 22, 2009 (AFP) - It looks like a giant tent pitched by aliens who landed overnight in the yard of one of Seoul's ancient royal palaces.

Artist's impression of the Prada Transformer Cinema (www.prada-transformer.com)

Welcome to the Prada Transformer -- billed as the world's first shape-shifting building -- which can be lifted and rotated into different configurations to house art, film, fashion and other events.

"It's a kind of statement that architecture doesn't always have to be heavy... stable and repetitive," Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas told journalists at a preview Wednesday.

The structure, funded by the Prada Group, has four different shapes -- a hexagon, cross, rectangle and circle.

Construction cranes will lift and rotate the structure into different facades and floor plate configurations to create a new venue for each cultural event.

"When you rotate this building, its floor becomes walls and walls become the floor," said Alexander Reichert, senior architect of the Dutch-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture.

Situated next to the 16th century Gyeonghui Palace in the busy South Korean capital, the Transformer is also a visible symbol of the contrast between modernity and tradition, he said.

Koolhaas said architecture must accommodate many different activities. "That is the essence of architecture," he said.

"Waist Down - Skirts by Miuccia Prada" will make its Korean debut on April 25 at the Transformer, showcasing a collection of skirts by the Italian fashion powerhouse.

The exhibition space will be transformed into a cinema in June.

Copyright © 2022 AFP. All rights reserved. All information displayed in this section (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the contents of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presses.