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Rem Koolhaas's Quotes

Rem Koolhaas profile photo

Born: 1944-11-17
Profession: Architect
Nation: Dutch
Biography of Rem Koolhaas

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When air conditioning, escalators, and advertising appeared, shopping expanded its scale, but also limited its spontaneity. And it became much more predictable, almost scientific. What had once been the most surprising became the most manipulated.

Tags: Almost, Once, Scientific

When shopping was still connected to the street it was also an intensification and articulation of the street. Now it has become utterly independent - contained, controlled, surveyed.

Tags: Become, Shopping, Street

It is not possible to live in this age if you don't have a sense of many contradictory forces.

Tags: Age, Possible, Sense

I think one of the important evolutions is that we no longer feel compulsively the need to argue, or to justify things on a kind of rational level. We are much more willing to admit that certain things are completely instinctive and others are really intellectual.

Tags: Level, Longer, Others

Each building has to be beautiful, but cheap and fast, but it lasts forever. That is already an incredible battery of seemingly contradictory demands. So yes, I'm definitely perhaps contradictory person, but I operate in very contradictory times.

Tags: Beautiful, Forever, Times

Designs are increasingly winning competitions because they are literally green, and because somewhere they feature a small windmill.

Tags: Green, Small, Winning

Escape from the architecture ghetto is one of the major drivers and has been from the very beginning.

Tags: Beginning, Escape, Ghetto

If you have this reputation you can sit back and endure it, or you can try to do things with it.

Tags: Reputation, Sit, Try

It's a weird city because the uglier the weather, the more beautiful the city. And the uglier the buildings, the more coherent the city.

Tags: Beautiful, Weather, Weird

One of our theories is that one can offset this excessive compulsion toward the spectacular with a return to simplicity.

Tags: Return, Simplicity, Toward

The areas of consensus shift unbelievably fast; the bubbles of certainty are constantly exploding.

Tags: Certainty, Consensus, Fast

We live in an almost perfect stillness and work with incredible urgency.

Tags: Almost, Perfect, Work

Any architectural project we do takes at least four or five years, so increasingly there is a discrepancy between the acceleration of culture and the continuing slowness of architecture.

Tags: Between, Culture, Takes

People can inhabit anything. And they can be miserable in anything and ecstatic in anything. More and more I think that architecture has nothing to do with it. Of course, that's both liberating and alarming.

Tags: Both, Ecstatic, Miserable

Influence is a very unpleasant subject and I deal with it in a maybe irresponsible way, which is to really ignore it. It would be a nightmare if we started to really think about it; it would tie our hands, it would tie everyone else's hands.

Tags: Else, Everyone, Ignore

Not many architects have the luxury to reject significant things.

Tags: Architects, Architecture, Luxury

Our office acts like a kind of educational establishment and we are very careful who we educate.

Tags: Acts, Careful, Office

The luxury of our position now is that we can almost assemble any team to address any issue.

Tags: Almost, Position, Team

The work in S, M, L, XL was almost suicidal. It required so much effort that our office almost went bankrupt.

Tags: Almost, Effort, Work

We felt it was very important for an entity like CCTV to make its presence felt... To generate a space and to define a space, that is the main thing.

Tags: Felt, Presence, Space

But now sustainability is such a political category that it's getting more and more difficult to think about it in a serious way. Sustainability has become an ornament.

Tags: Become, Political, Serious

I'd say that my profession ends where architectural thinking ends - architectural thinking in terms of thinking about programs and organizational structure. These abstractions play a role in many other disciplines, and those disciplines are now defining their 'architectures' as well.

Tags: Ends, Role, Thinking

Prada is extremely directed in terms of communicating what they like and what they don't like. That is actually extremely pleasant because it clarifies very easily what you can do and what you need to do.

Tags: Actually, Pleasant, Terms

The great problem of the concert hall is that the shoebox is the ideal shape for acoustics but that no architect worth their names wants to build a shoebox.

Tags: Great, Problem, Worth

The intellectual force of the West is still dominant, but other cultures are getting stronger. I expect that we will develop a new way of thinking in architecture and urban planning, and that less will be based on our models.

Tags: Getting, Less, Thinking

The thing is that I have a really intense, almost compulsive need to record. But it doesn't end there, because what I record is somehow transformed into a creative thing. There is a continuity. Recording is the beginning of a conceptual production. I am somehow collapsing the two - recording and producing - into a single event.

Tags: Creative, End, Single
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We say we want to create beauty, identity, quality, singularity. And yet, maybe in truth these cities that we have are desired. Maybe their very characterlessness provides the best context for living.

Tags: Beauty, Best, Truth
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