Koolhass: An Inspired Architect; Not A Planner

Rem Koolhaas is perhaps the greatest contemporary architect, but as a planner, he falls flat.
June 10, 2002, 6am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Koolhaas's first full-scale attempt at master planning was Euralille, a transportation hub and urban complex in Lille, France. The French government hired him in 1989 to create the master plan for, among other things, a new high-speed train station near the city's center that would connect France to Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands; Lille was to be the first stop in Europe out of the Chunnel. The development -- which includes a convention center designed by Koolhaas and a train station, business offices, retail shops, public services, and housing designed by other architects, whom Koolhaas helped to select -- was intended to link downtown Lille to its suburbs and to stimulate an economic renaissance in this region of northern France.Koolhaas used the Euralille commission to propose what he claimed was a new paradigm of urbanism, which, he said in 1992, 'must not rest on order and power' but 'must incarnate uncertainty.'"

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Monday, June 17, 2002 in The American Prospect
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