Remment Koolhaas is undoubtedly one of the most famous and respected architects in the world. His creativity is fascinating and his buildings tell a story, a story of how architecture should develop in the future. You might see chaos, challenge and controversial designs, but the well-known Dutch personality argues that his buildings inspire quiet contemplation.
Nevertheless, age has not tempered at all with Rem Koolhass, who continues to astonish with his designs and to shake up the entire cultural landscape, despite being 74 years old. It is precisely this habit of shaking things up and being a provocateur that has made him one of the most influential architects of his generation. His works range from art galleries and libraries, to headquarters, private residences or outlets.
Let us take a look at some of his most famous edifices and attempt to understand his vision as an urban thinker.
The intention of the architect was to provide the Port of Rotterdam with a vivid, contemporary urban image and to create a multifunctional building. This is the largest city in the country and fosters over 160 thousand square meters in its impressive 150-meter height. Koolhass has described it as a vertical city.
Maison à Bordeaux
This commission has been carried out for a client who was confined to a wheelchair because of a car accident. What Koolhass managed to do is create not only a building that meets his needs, but one that combines aesthetics and functionality.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
In the heart of Moscow lies this futuristic space that fosters the largest collection of contemporary art belonging to Russia. The combination of traditional/historical architectural elements and modern design imitating a garage is fascinating both for the tourist and for the expert architect.
China Central Television (CCTV) Headquarters
The building opened its doors in 2012, after more than 10 years of designing and building. The irregular geometric forms make the building look different depending on the perspective and the angle. While some experts have called is a piece of propaganda, other have regarded it as a masterpiece.
All in all, the designs of the famous architect have always put the person first. Libraries have primarily been designed for access, not storage and the old traditional methods employed by architecture have been shaken up precisely in order to accommodate the future and its needs.
“Terms like city, street, identity and architecture are things of the past. The past is too small to live in.” – Rem Koolhaas
Architecture, Koolhass says, used to be about the creation of community, but recently, it has not managed to express public values, but instead, the values of the private sector. The fact that “the city has become vastly less adventurous and more predictable” can be saved through the power of visual arts and architecture.
To find out more about this controversial architect’s take on SMART cities, urban intelligence and visual arts, we recommend this article.