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Rem Koolhaas

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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