What Makes Koolhaas Tick?

Former <em>Times</em> architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff pens a profile of the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, whose "most provocative—and in many ways least understood—contribution to the cultural landscape is as an urban thinker."
August 24, 2012, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

Attempting to answer his self-posed question as to why Koolhaas is the "world's most controversial architect," Ouroussoff returns to the starchitect subject matter that made him such a divisive figure as critic at The New York Times. In this piece, Ouroussoff traces Koolhaas's production as an "urban thinker" and tinkerer, beginning with his Euralille project (1994). His bona fides as an urban thinker seem to be based on his extensive travels, writings, and provocative competition entries. However, not since Euralille has he designed and built a "major urban project" (although a rumored competition win in Doha, Qatar may change that).

Koolhaas certainly is "one of the most influential architects of his generation" for many reasons, but his impact on urban planning and theory aren't well demonstrated in this piece. As to why he's the "world's most controversial architect" - how controversial could a guy be if his ideal city is "all things to all people?"

Full Story:
Published on Friday, August 24, 2012 in Smithsonian
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email