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Rem Koolhaas

A Brief Overview:

Rem Koolhaas is a renowned architect and urbanist who has had a significant impact on the field of architecture and design. He was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1944 and received his degree in architecture from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands in 1972. After working for various architectural firms in the Netherlands, Koolhaas co-founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 1975 with his colleagues Elia and Zoe Zenghelis.

Koolhaas is known for his avant-garde and often controversial designs, which often challenge traditional architectural norms and explore the relationship between architecture and society. His projects are often large-scale and highly visible, and he has designed a wide range of buildings and projects around the world, including museums, libraries, cultural centers, and office buildings.

In addition to his architectural work, Koolhaas has also written extensively about architecture and urbanism, and his books "Delirious New York" and "S, M, L, XL" are widely considered seminal works in the field. He has taught and lectured at universities around the world, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a professor of architecture from 1995 to 2001, and at Harvard University, where he has been a professor in practice of architecture and urban design since 2001.

Koolhaas has received numerous awards and accolades for his work, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2000, the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2004, and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2010. Some of his notable projects include the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, the Seattle Central Library, the Casa da Musica in Porto, and the Seattle Public Library.


Architectural Style:

Rem Koolhaas is known for his avant-garde and often controversial architectural style, which often challenges traditional architectural norms and explores the relationship between architecture and society. His work is characterized by a willingness to experiment with new forms, materials, and technologies, and he often incorporates elements of popular culture and technology into his designs.

One of the key themes in Koolhaas' work is the idea of "bigness," or the idea that architecture can play a significant role in shaping the urban environment. He has designed a number of large-scale projects, including office buildings, cultural centers, and museums, that seek to make a statement about the city and its place in the world.

In addition to his focus on bigness, Koolhaas is also known for his interest in the history of architecture and urbanism. Many of his projects make reference to the past, either through the use of traditional building materials or through the incorporation of historical elements into the design.

Overall, Koolhaas' architectural style is highly individualistic and often defies easy categorization. His work is influenced by a wide range of factors, including technology, popular culture, and the urban environment, and his designs are often innovative and challenging.



1. CCTV Headquarters, Beijing:

The CCTV Headquarters in Beijing is a skyscraper designed by Rem Koolhaas and his firm, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). The building is a stunning example of modern design, with a twisted, looping shape that makes it a prominent feature of the Beijing skyline. The building is home to China Central Television, the state-run broadcaster, and contains offices, studios, and a hotel.

2. Seattle Central Library:

The Seattle Central Library is another notable project designed by Koolhaas and OMA. The building, which opened in 2004, is known for its unique, angular design and its use of glass and steel. The library is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, and has won numerous awards for its innovative design.

3. Casa da Musica, Porto:

The Casa da Musica is a concert hall and cultural center located in Porto, Portugal. Designed by Koolhaas and OMA, the building is known for its striking, asymmetrical shape and its use of geometric forms. The Casa da Musica is a popular venue for concerts and events, and has become an important cultural hub in the city of Porto.

4. 121 East 22nd, New York:

The design was conceived from its site which straddles two separate and different neighborhoods: a quiet residential area surrounding Gramercy Park, an enclosed and private garden, and the bustling commercial space around Madison Square Park, a public park that hosts an array of activities.

The L-shaped site posed an opportunity to be informed by the two neighborhoods while activating three street fronts. The concept emerges from this dualistic condition, referencing Cubist artwork, in which objects are viewed from a multitude of viewpoints rather than a single one to represent the subject in a greater context.

5. Garage Museum of Contemporary Art:

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in 2008 at the Konstantin Melnikov designed Bakhmetievsky Bus Garage. Relocating from a semi-industrial neighborhood in the north of Moscow to one of the city's best known public spaces (Gorky Park), Garage will address a much larger and diversified audience.

Exposed to snow, rain, and sun since it was abandoned in the 1990s, the former Vremena Goda restaurant – once a popular destination in Gorky Park – has become a ruin without facades. Even as a ruin it preserves the "collective" aura of the Soviet era: it is a sober public space adorned with tiles, mosaics and bricks.


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