Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhaas and thedutch architecture: Professor of The Practice of Architecture and Urban Design at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and the winner of the Pritzker Prize, Rem Koolhaas is a Dutch architect, urbanist, and architectural theorist. He was born in 1944.

Koolhaas began his career as a journalist and scriptwriter in the Netherlands and then in Los Angeles. He also attended the Architectural Association School in London, followed by further studies at Cornell University in New York.

Koolhaas is the principal of the OMA (the Office for Metropolitan Architecture) which was what brought him to public and critical attention. He founded the OMA in 1975 with architects Elia Zenghelis, Zoe Zenghelis and his wife Madelon Vriesendorp in London. Koolhaas's student, at that time, Zaha Hadid joined the team later.Koolhaas is also is the principal of OMA's research-oriented counterpart AMO. In 2005 he co-founded Volume Magazine together with Mark Wigley and Ole Bouman.

Many of his early unfinished projects received critics such as the Parc de la Villette, Paris in 1982 and the residence for the President of Ireland in 1981. The first big project to be built by the OMA was the Kunsthal in Rotterdam in 1992.

Koolhaas attempted to put many of his findings into practice in his book ‘Delirious New York.’ Koolhaas's work forcefully tries to make use of the contradictions of two disciplines: architecture and urban design. In other words, he tries to create a link between technology and humanity.

Another key aspect of architecture Koolhaas investigates is the "Program". The program, which became the key theme of architectural design, was first brought to the attention of Koolhaas by architect Louis Sullivan. The notion of the Program involves "an act to edit function and human activities" as a pretext of architectural design, epitomized in the maxim form follows function.

From 1980 on, Koolhaas and OMA have been passionately involved in building and urban planning projects. In 1995, Koolhaas, with the help of graphic designer Bruce Mau, published SMLXL. SMLXL is a book that documents the work of OMA and Koolhaas' individual interest in contemporary society and building. SMLXL was named "Book of the Century" by Blueprint Magazine.

Koolhaas has been a professor at Harvard University since 1995. He and the OMA have been the subject of numerous publications and monographs and several documentary films, and their work has been exhibited internationally.


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