Since joining the Office of Metropolitan Architects—founded by Rem Koolhaas—in 1998, Shohei Shigematsu has designed cultural venues including the Quebec National Beaux Arts Museum and the Faena Arts Center in Miami Beach. He has also worked on collaborations with artists such as China’s Cai Guo Qiang, Marina Abramovic, and Kanye West.
The Japan-born Shigematsu, who became a partner in 2008 and has led the OMA office in New York since 2006, is designing a number of luxury high-rise towers in San Francisco, New York, and Miami, as well as a mixed-use complex in Santa Monica, Calif.
Shigematsu, 45, is also a design critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. We caught up with him to discuss his inspirations, the uniqueness of Japanese architecture, and more.
Who are some of your most important influences?
I used to watch a lot of films as a child. Stanley Kubrick’s movies were a big inspiration. I wanted to be a film director, but that never quite happened. I also have always been fascinated by the old architecture and culture of Japan.
I lived in Japan until I was 10, and then moved to Boston. My father was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and it was really the first time I saw Western architecture. There is some great architecture there, and those buildings really influenced my decision to become an architect.