Happy Birthday, Rem Koolhaas!
Rem Koolhaas turned 60 on November 17. The architect, who received the Pritzker Prize in 2000 – just one of many awards – is committed to an interdisciplinary way of working.
Rem Koolhaas was born in 1944 in Rotterdam and spent some of his childhood in Indonesia. He worked as a journalist and script author before beginning his architectural studies in 1968 in London. Koolhaas then went to New York for three years and returned to London in 1975, where he founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) together with Madelon Vriesedorp, Elia Zenghelis and Zorp Zenghelis. Since its foundation, the OMA has played an important role in the global architectural discussion with several publications on architectural theory, lectures and the participation in commissions. Among the OMA's buildings are the Rotterdam Kunsthalle, the Lille Grand Palais, the Seoul National University Museum, the Dutch Embassy in Berlin and the extension of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Since 1995, Koolhaas has been a professor of architectural practice and urbanism at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. There, he not only teaches architectural design but also researches special themes together with a specially selected circle of students: for example, the development of the Pearl River Delta in China or the consumer behavior of modern society. Rem Koolhaas has received numerous important awards, among them the Pritzker Prize 2000, which is considered the Nobel Prize of architecture, and in 2003 the renowned Japanese art award Praemium Imperiale.
In addition to the OMA, Koolhaas also founded the appropriate counterpart: the office AMO translates the architectural and design concepts to other disciplines and conducts studies. The result are cooperations between the two offices; the OMA is responsible for the architecture while AMO is responsible for the design of the pertaining media, technologies and advertising campaigns, for example in the Prada Shop in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The AMO also realizes its own projects such as the new symbolic language for Europe in cooperation with the European Commission; the "Barcode" design has attracted a lot of attention.