OMA’S NEDERLANDS DANS THEATER

By Stefano de Martino

Stefano de Martino (1955), sketch, Nederlands Dans Theater, the Hague, c.1982. Pencil and crayon on tracing paper, 340 × 297 mm. DMC 3000.8.2.
Stefano de Martino, for OMA, Nederlands Dans Theater, c.1982. Pencil and crayon on tracing, 340 × 297 mm. DMC 3000.8.1.

Since you have asked about the two small sketches from Luce van Rooy Gallery attributed to Zaha: they are my drawings from the very early stages of the Nederlands Dans Theater project. The original site was not in The Hague but in Scheveningen, just down the road near the beach. The site had an unusual shape. These studies show an arrangement of the practice studios and a swimming pool for the dancers. At that stage it was only Rem and I working on it, later more people joined the team. Rem briefed me about the programme, we sketched and discussed ideas, and eventually I drew them up. In this respect, since you asked, it is necessary to dispel the myth that Rem doesn’t draw—he is an excellent draughtsman. His sketches are really beautiful. One of Rem’s great qualities is taking the role of an art director. He draws people around him whose work he appreciates and who he can work with, combining their talents to the best result. But when I joined OMA in 1979, I was the only person working with Rem in London. Then, as the work increased in Holland, Rem opened the office in Rotterdam with Jan Vorberg and more people joined us. Eventually we had a fantastic team that included Alex Wall, Kees Christiaanse and Willem-Jan Neutelings.