In association with Bayerische Motoren Werke.
Remment (Rem) Koolhaas is one of the world’s most respected architects, acclaimed for his creativity. He says that his work is influenced by chaos and drastic choices, yet the precision and scale of his buildings inspires quiet contemplation. His commissions range from art galleries and libraries to private residences, retail outlets and headquarters, all with one thing in common: his bold voice translates well into steel, glass and concrete. In the latest edition of the “Bold Voices – Portraits of Creative Pioneers” series, we showcase some of his most iconic builds.
The largest building in the Netherlands is remarkable not just for its height (150 metres) but also its massive footprint of 160,000 sq m. In giving the Port of Rotterdam a contemporary urban image, Koolhaas’s intention was to create a multifunctional building in which people could work, live, shop, relax and eat. He describes this work as a “vertical city”.
Maison à Bordeaux
One of the most unusual Koolhaas buildings was designed for a client who had been confined to a wheelchair as a result of a car accident and was seeking a building that could adequately meet his needs. The result was a house that combines aesthetics and functionality, incorporating a variety of technical elements – such as a lift platform that gives access to all three floors.
“Terms like city, street, identity and architecture are things of the past. The past is too small to live in.” – Rem Koolhaas
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Where the Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) restaurant once stood in Moscow’s famous Gorky Park, we now find this futuristic space that houses Russia’s largest collection of contemporary art. Koolhaas combined historical architectural elements with modern design, including the hinged walls that ape the doors of a garage.
Seattle Central Library
Completed in 2004, this building calls to mind a heap of books, combining a futuristic design with the utility of a public library. For the architect, the starting point for the design was not the storage of books but access for the reader.
“Beauty is a timid deer. It is more likely to arise by chance than design.” – Rem Koolhaas
Koolhaas transformed a former gin distillery into a sleek golden museum space for the famous fashion label. The complex of buildings is home to exhibition areas and a cinema, library and café.
China Central Television (CCTV) Headquarters
After 10 years of design and construction, the CCTV building in Beijing opened its doors in 2012. This HQ for the Chinese state broadcaster comprises three towers that, with their irregular geometric forms, look different depending on the angle from which they are viewed. This building is now the world’s second-largest office space after the Pentagon.