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Hal Foster: Rem Koolhaas, 29 November 2001

Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping 
by Rem Koolhaas et al.
Taschen, 800 pp., £30, December 2001, 3 8228 6047 6
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Great Leap Forward 
by Rem Koolhaas et al.
Taschen, 720 pp., £30, December 2001, 3 8228 6048 4
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... In Delirious New York (1978), his ‘retroactive manifesto’ for Manhattan, Rem Koolhaas published an old tinted postcard of the city skyline in the early 1930s. It presents the Empire State, Chrysler, and other landmark buildings of the time with a visionary twist – a dirigible is set to dock at the spire of the Empire State ...

It hits in the gut

Will Self, 8 March 2012

Militant Modernism 
by Owen Hatherley.
Zero, 146 pp., £9.99, April 2009, 978 1 84694 176 4
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A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain 
by Owen Hatherley.
Verso, 371 pp., £9.99, July 2011, 978 1 84467 700 9
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... and finally the ‘iconic’ works of the starchitects – Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind et al – who, Hatherley sneers, ‘manage to combine formal spectacle and moralistic sobriety’. Such is the bagginess of pseudomodernism that there’s room not only for former ‘deconstructivists’, but also for such ...

In Venice

Hal Foster: At the Biennale, 4 August 2005

... the other obliquely – to this problematic of modernisation today. In the middle of the Arsenale, Rem Koolhaas displays 38 documentary banners on the subject of the ‘Expansion of Art World’ and the role of celebrity architecture in it, collating research drawn from recent projects of his Office of Metropolitan Architecture, which is complicit with ...

At Somerset House

Peter Campbell: Zaha Hadid, 16 December 2004

... who won the prize in 1989) have, over the years, chosen a significant number of winners (Gehry, Rem Koolhaas and now Hadid) whose reputations, at the time of the award, depended to a great extent on small buildings or on their contributions to a parallel universe of competition entries and imaginary projects. Hadid, in particular, has been famous for ...


Jonathan Meades: Archigram’s Ghost, 21 May 2020

Archigram: The Book 
edited by Dennis Crompton.
Circa, 300 pp., £95, November 2018, 978 1 911422 04 4
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... It’s the second and third waves that succeed – they include Will Alsop, Future Systems, Rem Koolhaas and Coop Himmelb(l)au. And while architecture may be 10 per cent bedsit lucubration, it is 110 per cent a cut-throat business that demands graft, oily diplomacy, baksheesh, clubbable chumminess, anilingual shamelessness. In their day jobs ...

Dangerously Insane

Deyan Sudjic: Léon Krier, 7 October 2010

The Architecture of Community 
by Léon Krier.
Island, 459 pp., £12.99, February 2010, 978 1 59726 579 9
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... of mainstream British architecture. He developed a contempt for his profession that was shared by Rem Koolhaas, another architect with a Le Corbusier fixation who happened to be teaching at the AA at the time. While Krier came to believe that no respectable architect could build anything with a clear conscience, ...

At the Met Breuer

Hal Foster: Thoughts made visible, 31 March 2016

... to extend its exhibition space for decades, but proposals of various merit by Michael Graves, Rem Koolhaas and Piano were all shot down, largely because of the effect they would have had on adjacent brownstones which, though nondescript, had landmark status. With the new deal the Whitney could leave uptown, and appear generous in doing so, while the ...

Amerikanist Dreams

Owen Hatherley, 21 October 2021

Building a New World: Amerikanizm in Russian Architecture 
by Jean-Louis Cohen.
Yale, 544 pp., £30, September 2020, 978 0 300 24815 9
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Moscow Monumental: Soviet Skyscrapers and Urban Life in Stalin’s Capital 
by Katherine Zubovich.
Princeton, 280 pp., £34, January, 978 0 691 17890 5
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... revolutionaries aiming to introduce Taylorist ‘scientific management’ to their factories; Rem Koolhaas, whose Delirious New York (1978) linked the collective dream projects of the Soviet avant-garde to the built realities of Coney Island and the Rockefeller Centre; and, after one of the two empires had disappeared, Susan Buck-Morss, who in ...

After the White Cube

Hal Foster, 19 March 2015

... dedicated to inanimate art. During the first boom in museums in post-1989 ‘new Europe’, Rem Koolhaas remarked that since there’s not enough past to go around, its tokens can only rise in value. Today, it seems, there’s not enough present to go around: for reasons that are obvious enough in a hyper-mediated age, it is in great demand too, as ...

Hey, that’s me

Hal Foster: Bruce Mau, 5 April 2001

Life Style 
by Bruce Mau.
Phaidon, 626 pp., £39.95, November 2000, 0 7148 3827 6
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... intellectual medium. Life Style follows on from the mammoth monograph of architectural projects by Rem Koolhaas, S, M, L, XL (1996), which Mau helped to design (these are not coffee-table books, they are coffee tables). With his usual wit Koolhaas picked this title to signal not only the various scales of his work from ...

Balls in Aquaria

Thomas Crow: Joseph Rykwert, 23 October 2008

The Judicious Eye: Architecture against the Other Arts 
by Joseph Rykwert.
Reaktion, 496 pp., £29.95, June 2008, 978 1 86189 358 1
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... philanthropy, fed by oil revenues, set against backdrops provided by Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas or Jean Nouvel. Though Rykwert mentions none of these architects by name, their work plainly lies behind his guiding assumption that the ‘privatisation’ of political and financial power in modern times has led to a wave of arbitrary ...

Go, Modernity

Hal Foster: Norman Foster, 22 June 2006

Catalogue: Foster and Partners 
edited by David Jenkins.
Prestel, 316 pp., £22.99, July 2005, 3 7913 3298 8
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Norman Foster: Works 2 
edited by David Jenkins.
Prestel, 548 pp., £60, January 2006, 3 7913 3017 9
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... as if Foster wanted to outdo the tomes produced for more notorious peers such as Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas, whose offices seem like cottage industries in comparison with his. For Foster is also ‘Foster and Partners’, a practice of more than six hundred people with projects in fifty countries. There are six large design groups, each headed by two ...


Hal Foster: Curation, 4 June 2015

Ways of Curating 
by Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Penguin, 192 pp., £9.99, March 2015, 978 0 241 95096 8
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Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World – And Everything Else 
by David Balzer.
Pluto, 140 pp., £8.99, April 2015, 978 0 7453 3597 1
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... extensive collaboration but also ‘infinite conversation’. In 2006, with another ‘mentor’, Rem Koolhaas, he launched the Serpentine Marathon, a ‘24-hour polyphonic knowledge festival where all kinds of disciplines meet’, and he has adapted this strategy of accumulation to other forms too, with compilations of ‘manifestos for the 21st ...

Smash the Screen

Hal Foster: ‘Duty Free Art’, 5 April 2018

Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War 
by Hito Steyerl.
Verso, 256 pp., £16.99, October 2017, 978 1 78663 243 2
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... affects’. Steyerl offers these last four terms (adapted from Thomas Elsaesser, Rem Koolhaas, Harun Farocki and Steven Shaviro respectively) as part of her lexicon for survival in a contemporary life caught in the capitalist Web. In her view this life threatens to become an endless match of Captcha (as in ‘Completely Automated Public ...

In New York

Hal Foster: Plans for Ground Zero, 20 March 2003

... were established as the ur-forms of skyscraper New York (of ‘Manhattanism’, according to Rem Koolhaas). Eisenman is not often trumped rhetorically, but he was at the Winter Garden. Libeskind was the first to speak, and he told the tale of a Polish boy, aged 13, the son of Holocaust survivors, who in 1960 steamed into New York harbour on a ...

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