Rem Koolhaas is an architect, but perhaps more thinkers. The greatest effect that he deploys is not through his buildings, but through his thick book ideas.
The focus is no longer on the European city, which has developed over the centuries, but on the Asian metropolis, which has been reduced to nothing in a few years. Today, Koolhaas is 75 years old.
Koolhaas comes from Holland, but he did not grow up between pretty houses by the edge of a canal, but was destroyed in Rotterdam by German bombers and in Indonesia. At first, he did not become an architect, but a journalist and screenwriter. He was co-author of the Dutch film "The White Slave" (1969), the most expensive so far, which made a violent fall at the box office. It was only in 1968 that he began to study architecture. "The writing and construction are closely related," is his belief. Both are forms of communication.
During his studies, he intensively occupied the Berlin Wall. His main characteristic for him was to divide the city into a good and a bad half: in the East, one fantasized about life in the western part, which was held mostly in secret. That ideas were partially covered, showed that after the fall of the wall.
The breakthrough of Koolhaas took place even before he had built a single building: in 1978, he published the book "Delirious New York". In this paper, he developed the idea of "hyper-density": New York is therefore characterized by the contrast between the rigid checkered street layout and the architectural diversity that results.
On this basis, Koolhaas has gradually developed the concept of "generic city", "non-specific city" or even city without history. The metropolises of the southern hemisphere do not develop in a planned way, but continue to proliferate without control. Koolhaas accepts this as a natural event. "At the same time, he is trying to delineate the areas of this chaos, thus creating a space for the public," says art historian Holger Liebs in the documentary "Rem Koolhaas – A Kind of" 39; architect ".
The XL structures created by Koolhaas and its office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) are in themselves small towns. For example, every day, more than 10,000 people work in the Chinese public television broadcasting center in Beijing. The so-called video surveillance tower, which Koolhaas built with Germany's Ole Scheeren, has the shape of a folded loop in the room – it is not a new altitude record.
The building – one of the largest in the world – was awarded the title of "Best High-Rise Building" in 2013. The work at the service of Chinese state propaganda has however aroused much criticism at Koolhaas .
A very quoted statement from Koolhaas is "fuck context" – "shit about context". This means that as an architect and urban planner, one should not be too much influenced by the structure developed. If the houses around it have a certain height, that does not necessarily mean that you can continue building at that height. The most important for him is the question of what is best for the people who live there. Koolhaas is not a nostalgic – he saw the change and said of himself that he had no home, no real house: "I lived literally everywhere, in Holland, in Indonesia, for a long time in New York, England, about every decade in another country. "
However, he points out that the quote of "context of fuck" is often taken out of context. Of course, in a historic city like Berlin, where he built the Dutch Embassy, he did not want to ignore the environment: "the context is paramount". Yet, critics suggest that it is prescribed to the consumer society, which only counts its present value and in the long run any particularity einbne.
Koolhaas sees things differently. In his own words, he fears that the inhabitants of his buildings will be happy, even those who have no money. For example, homeless people are welcome to the Seattle Central Library, which he built: "I'm especially proud of that! It was something we designed specifically. There are additional baths for her. "