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Posted by : American University of Beirut
Date posted : Jan 01, 1970
The Areen Architecture Series at the Department of Architecture and Design held a lecture entitled: "On OMA's Work" by Rem Koolhaas. Rem Koolhaas is an internationally acclaimed architect and urbanist. He founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. Koolhaas graduated from the Architectural Association in London and in 1978 published Delirious New York, a Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. In 1995, his book S,M,L,XL summarized the work of OMA and established connections between contemporary society and architecture. At this moment Rem Koolhaas is heading the work of OMA as well as AMO¬the conceptual branch of OMA, a think tank focused on social, economic, and technological issues. Rem Koolhaas is a professor at Harvard University where he conducts the Project on the City, a research program investigating changing urban conditions around the world. The projects include an analysis of the role of retail and consumption in contemporary society (The Harvard Guide to Shopping, 2001), a study on China's Pearl River Delta (published as Great Leap Forward, 2002), and studies on Rome, Lagos, Moscow, and Beijing. OMA has completed the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (2003), a campus center at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago (2003), the Prada Epicenter in Los Angeles (2004) and the Public Library in Seattle (2004). The Seattle Library was chosen by TIME Magazine as The Best Architecture for 2004 and was described by the New York Times as: "t a dark hour: Seattle's new Central Library is a blazing chandelier to swing your dreams upon. If an American city can erect a civic project as brave as this one, the sun hasn't set on the West" (May 16th 2004). In April 2005 the Casa da Musica concert hall in Porto was completed and was already voted as one of the most important concert halls in the world by the New York Times (April 10th 2005). Recent AMO projects include a study for the European Commission on the visual identity of the EU, image restructuring for Condé Nast magazines Lucky and Wired, a study on the future of the automobile for Volkswagen, and a study concerning preservation for the city of Beijing. By combining AMO and OMA Rem Koolhaas is seen as one of the most important thinkers of the last decades. The work of OMA and Rem Koolhaas has been celebrated as well by several international awards, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2000) and the RIBA Gold Medal (2004). In 2005 Rem Koolhaas received the Mies van der Rohe Award for the Netherlands Embassy, Berlin. This award is presented every two years by the European Union and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe (Barcelona) to acknowledge and reward quality architectural production in Europe.