Meet the Architect Who Designed Kanye West's Epic "Yeezus Tour" Set

Oana Stanescu is the architect behind many of Kanye West and Virgil Abloh's projcts.

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Complex Original

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Kanye West's memorable "Yeezus Tour" featured a much-talked-about volcano towering in the background. The woman behind the architectural marvel, Oana Stanescu, has worked on housing in Dallas and a bridge in Slovenia, but her client list also includes a number of recognizable names, according to The New York Times.

While the 50-foot volcano is certainly Stanescu's best known work, other notable creations include Virgil Abloh's Off-White flagship store in Hong Kong and she is part of the team on the +Pool project trying to bring a floating swimming pool to the East River. She has also worked with Marina Abramović and the New Museum in New York. 

The only 32-year-old Stanescu already has her own architecture firm, Family, which she runs with her partner Dong-Ping Wong. She's traveled a long way to get to her firm in the New York's West Village. The architect was born in Romania, where she would feed her pop culture obsession with Guns N' Roses videos and whatever was on British MTV. 

Stanescu attended Polytechnic University of Timisoara, a college in Romania, where she studied architecture. During her studies, she received an offer to work at the firm REX in New York, which is a former offshoot of the prestigious Office of Metropolitan Architecture. 

The architect's work has taken her all over the world, as she's worked with firms in Japan (Sanaa), Switzerland (Herzog & de Meuron), and South Africa (Architecture for Humanity). Now, Stanescu has settled in Harlem where she is currently working on more projects with West that she is unable to talk about. The two first met when 'Ye hired the Office of Metropolitan Architecture to design the viewing area for his "Cruel Summer" short film. 

Stanescu gets along with West despite what people perceive as a bloated ego on the rapper's part. I understand how it can be off-putting for people to hear it," she told W in 2013. "But I think it’s how Kanye pushes himself. If he didn’t have this belief that he could do major things and have a global impact, he would just go close himself off in a room."


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