Rem took a small-scale model and rotated it carefully in his hands. Then he stopped for a moment and showed it to Hans-Ulrich who stared at it and, without pausing his camera for a second, said: ‘This is the Porto building isn’t it?’ ‘Yes,’ replied Rem, and he told the story of the Porto model. The design originated in a commission for a house in suburban Rotterdam several years ago. The client, qualified by Rem as ‘a typical Dutch Calvinist’, was obsessed by order and tidiness and demanded a neat living area. The house designed by the OMA looked like a hunk of chiseled rock, mounted on a big turntable to follow the sun. But the client was not happy with the design and he dropped the project just as the OMA was entering a design competition for the Porto concert hall. Thus, the abandoned and temporarily forgotten model of the private house came up to the office and re-entered the cycles of design. Lingering on the tables of models for months, it was finally taken with new assumptions, reshaped, refreshed and adjusted. Blowing up its scale and adapting it, the core became the main auditorium, with the foyers, rehearsal halls and offices packed into the leftover space around it. That is how a rejected concept was modified to accommodate a concert hall. It entered a competition and won it: The Casa de Musica in Porto.
Techniques not publicly spoken in one firm becomes the publicly leveraged technique of another. Great read.