Rem Koolhaas


Rem Koolhaas, born in 1944, Dutch architect, whose influential building designs and writings have solidified his status as a major force in modern architecture. Koolhaas was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prizethe field`s highest honorin the year 2000. In its citation, the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury praised Koolhaas as that rare combination of visionary and implementer, philosopher and pragmatist, theorist and prophet. His body of work is as much about ideas as it is buildings. His architecture is an architecture of essence; ideas given built form.

Born in Rotterdam

Born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in 1944, Koolhaas spent much of his childhood in Indonesia, where his father worked for the Indonesian government as a cultural director. After returning to The Netherlands, Koolhaas became a journalist with the "Haagse Post", a Dutch magazine, and later worked as a motion-picture screenwriter.

Koolhaas studied architecture at the Architectural

Koolhaas studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London, England, from 1968 to 1972, and he continued his education at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, from 1972 to 1975. In 1975 he was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City.

During his studies

During his studies, Koolhaas developed a strong interest in urban planning and city life, and in 1975 he cofounded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in London. OMA has undertaken a variety of projects that explore the relationships between architecture and the modern city`s cultural and political life. In 1978 OMA won its first major awarda design competition for an addition to the Dutch parliament building in The Hague. OMA`s growing recognition in The Netherlands led the group to open an office in Rotterdam, and it soon won a commission to design a housing complex in Amsterdam.

Koolhaas`s book "Delirious New York

Koolhaas`s book "Delirious New York "(1978), written before he had designed actual buildings, reflects his interest in urban design. Critics described the book as a celebration of the city`s immense size, energy, drama, congestion, and contradictions and hailed it as an important contribution to architectural theory. In 1995 Koolhaas coauthored "S,M,L,XL", a huge scrapbook of essays, photographs, illustrations, and other materials tracing the history of the architecture of the late 20th century and the details of architectural projects produced by OMA.

Koolhaas`s architectural designs do not

Koolhaas`s architectural designs do not conform to a single style. Many of his buildings recall the hallmarks of modern architecture, including simple, unadorned geometric forms, but his interior spaces can be diverse and complex. Spaces designed for different purposes often flow into each other along ramps or via escalators. Koolhaas has said that he strives to create interior spaces that are not only inspiring but also faithful to a building`s fundamental utility.

As the title "S

As the title "S,M,L,XL" suggests, a major theme in Koolhaas`s work is size. Many of his projects are extraordinarily large, in part because of his interest in urban design and his desire to find innovative solutions to problems posed by urbanization. One large-scale project is the master plan for Euralille, a business and civic center built around the railroad station in Lille, France, a city on the railway route between Paris and London. Koolhaas also designed a convention center, the Grand Palais (1994), for Euralille. Among his other large projects are the Kunsthal (1992), an art gallery in Rotterdam, and a master plan for the headquarters of Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California, begun in 1996. Projects completed in the early 2000s include the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum (2001) in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the glass-encased Seattle Public Library (2004) in Seattle, Washington.

In addition to his work with OMA

In addition to his work with OMA, Koolhaas has taught at a number of universities, including Columbia University in New York City; the Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands; and the Architectural Association in London. Since 1995 Koolhaas has taught architecture and urban design at Harvard University`s Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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