Koolhaas, Rem

Koolhaas, Rem (Remmet Lucas Koolhaas), 1944–, Dutch architect, b. Rotterdam. He began his career as a journalist and screenwriter, moving to London in the late 1960s to study architecture. Koolhaas is widely viewed as the most intellectually challenging, audacious, and influential architectural thinker of his generation until the 1990s he was primarily known as a theorist. He founded (1975) and heads the Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). His cutting-edge work defies categorization it is innovatively functional and often uses inexpensive everyday materials. Among his completed commissions are the Netherlands Dance Theater, The Hague (1987) the vast Euralille urban complex, Lille, France (1994) the Dutch Embassy, Berlin (2003) the McCormick Tribune Campus Center, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago (2003) and the arklike Casa de Música, Oporto, Portugal (2005). His most acclaimed projects are the Central Library in Seattle (2004), featuring an irregularly angled and cantilevered glass-and-steel exterior and, in the interior, a soaring reading room and spiral of bookshelves, and the CCTV Headquarters, Beijing (2011), whose two tapering, inward sloping 50-story steel-and-glass towers are joined at the top by an angled 13-story bridge, creating a large five-sided empty space in the center. Koolhaas is the author of Delirious New York (1978, repr. 1994), about the city's architecture and density S, M, L, XL (1994), about OMA's projects and several other books. He received the Pritzker Prize in 2000.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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