Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2006
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"The library represents, maybe with the prison, the last of the uncontested moral universes," explains OMA of their refreshingly original approach to its design, creating a building that whilst genetically modifying the typical high rise, emerges both contextual and iconic. More
Rem Koolhaas founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. He was educated at the Architectural Association in London and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York after working as a journalist and scriptwriter. During the years in the States he wrote his first book Delirious New York, A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, published in 1978.
The important works of Koolhaas and OMA from the early days up to the mid-1990s, including the Netherlands Dance Theatre in the Hague, Nexus Housing in Fukuoka, Kunsthal in Rotterdam, Euralille and Lille Grand Palais, Villa dall'Ava in Paris and the projects for Tres Grande Bibliotheque and Jussieu Library in Paris, and ZKM in Karlsruhe, appear-together with his insight into the contemporary society-in Koolhaas's second book S,M,L,XL (1995), which he wrote as a "novel about architecture".
Ellen van Loon is partner in charge of a large number of the projects at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. These presently include the Casa da Musica concert hall and complex in Porto, the Cordoba Congress Centre and the renowned Mercati Generali development in Rome. After working on the design of the German Reichstag in Berlin for Foster and Partners she was asked by OMA in 1998 to lead the design team for the headquarters building of Universal Studios. She has been a partner of OMA since 2002 and was as such responsible for the award winning Dutch Embassy in Berlin.
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