Rem Koolhaas Lecture: Stress Test

Rem Koolhaas founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp in 1975. Since then, OMA has emerged as one of the most important forces in architecture.

Koolhaas graduated from the Architectural Association in London in 1972, and later attended Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. The publication of Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan in 1978 marked the beginning of an extraordinary and multifaceted career.

As architecture critic Paul Goldberger wrote on the occasion of Koolhaas being awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2000, “there is Rem Koolhaas the architect, there is Rem Koolhaas the writer, there is Rem Koolhaas the urban theoretician, and there is Rem Koolhaas the figure to whom younger architects are drawn as moths to a flame … It is not hard to think of Rem Koolhaas in the same way one thinks about Le Corbusier or Frank Lloyd Wright.”

In addition to the Pritzker Prize, the work of Koolhaas and OMA has won many international awards including Japan's Praemium Imperiale in 2003, the United Kingdom's RIBA Gold Medal in 2004, and the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture — the Mies van der Rohe — in 2005.

OMA has designed seminal buildings throughout the world to international acclaim, including the Rotterdam Kunsthal (1992), the Maison á Bordeaux (1998), the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (2003), the Seattle Central Library (2004), and the China Central Television Headquarters — a reimagining of the skyscraper in the form of a loop — in Beijing (2010).