There are few outside a circle of initiates who realize just how important
Rem Koolhaas and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) are for
international architecture today. Arguably, Koolhaas/OMA is the most interesting
architect from the latter half of the 20th century. But how well is this truly
understood ? Certainly in the Netherlands, OMA is known only for the Kunsthal in
The average culture buff--who sees architecture from a layman's point of
view--often only has two criteria when looking at architecture : it has to look
good and it has to serve a purpose. Regrettably this section of the public
considers the Kunsthal to be a failure on both counts and so is blind to the
significance of Rem Koolhaas and OMA.
In New York, Koolhaas's Prada store is perhaps equally elusive: it looks
unlike any other store and it behaves unlike any other store.~What is OMA maps
the fields where Koolhaas is active, not only showing his realized buildings but
illuminating his perspective on the contemporary city and urbanity. The book
describes with great clarity Koolhaas's role in architectural theory and the
body of concepts wielded by him.
Authors of international repute from beyond the province of architecture
examine Koolhaas's work in the light of social and economic developments. As a
result, What is OMA paints an intelligent picture of the sheer range of Rem
Koolhaas's architecture and its seminal role in the architectural world. It is
the first book to approach Koolhaas's work from the vantage point of disciplines
other than architecture and to explain it to the general public.
168 p., 23 x 17 cm