Rem Koolhaas


Rem Koolhaas

Architect, architectural theorist, urbanist and Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design at Harvard University

Rem is a visionary architect of the future. The well known architect was born in the Netherlands and works as an author, theoretician of architecture, urban planner and professor at Harvard University. He is recognized as one of the most important architectural thinkers and urbanists of our time.

He began his career as a journalist with Haagse Post in The Hague, and later tried his hand at screen writing both in the Netherlands and Hollywood. In 1972, he received a Harkness Fellowship for research in the United States. He studied with O.M. Ungers at Cornell University for a year, and then became a visiting Fellow at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York. It was while in New York that he wrote Delirious New York self-described as a “retroactive manifesto for Manhattan”. It was published in 1978 and was hailed by critics as a classic text on modern architecture and society. It made him famous even before he had realized any buildings.

Since 1995, Rem has been a professor at Harvard University. He is leading a student-based research group that is studying different issues affecting the urban condition. The projects include a study of five cities in the Pearl River Delta in China; a study called The Roman System, focusing on the ancient Roman city; Shopping, an analysis of the role of retail consumption in the contemporary city; and a study of the African city, focusing specifically on Lagos, Nigeria.

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is the name of the company which Rem founded in London in 1975 with Madelon Vriesendorp and Elia and Zoe Zenghelis. The stated purpose was to address contemporary society and build contemporary architecture. Three years later, they won the competition for an addition to the Parliament in The Hague.

Today, Rem’s Rotterdam office is the creative workplace for some 85 architects and designers, housed on the top floor of a seven story building overlooking the city center.
(Copyright Photo: Aurore Belkin)