Rem Koolhaas was born in Rotterdam in 1944. He began his career as a journalist, working for the Haagse Post, and as a set-designer in the Netherlands and Hollywood. He beganHe frequented the Architectural Association School in London and studied with Oswald Mathias Ungers at Cornell University. In 1978, he wrote Delirious New York: a retroactive manifesto for Manhattan, which has become a classic of contemporary architectural theory. In 1975 – together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp – he founded OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture).
The most important works by Koolhaas and OMA, from its foundation until the mid-1990s, include the Netherlands Dance Theatre at The Hague, the Nexus Housing at Fukuoka in Japan, the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, the Grand Palais of Euralille and Lille, the Villa dall’Ava, the Très Grande Bibliothèque, the Jussieu library in Paris, the ZKM in Karlsruhe and the Seattle Public Library.
Together with Koolhaas’s reflections on contemporary society, these buildings appear in his second book, S,M,L,XL (1995), a volume of 1376 pages written as though it were a “novel about architecture”. Published in collaboration with the Canadian graphic designer, Bruce Mau, the book contains essays, manifestos, cartoons and travel diaries.
In 2005, with Mark Wigley and Ole Bouman, he was the founder to the prestigious Volume magazine, the result of a collaboration with Archis (Amsterdam), AMO and C-lab (Columbia University NY).
His built work includes the Qatar National Library and the Qatar Foundation Headquarters (2018), Fondation Galeries Lafayette in Paris (2018), Fondazione Prada in Milan (2015/2018), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2015), the headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing (2012), Casa da Musica in Porto (2005), Seattle Central Library (2004), and the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (2003). Current projects include the Taipei Performing Arts Centre, a new building for Axel Springer in Berlin, and the Factory in Manchester.
Koolhaas directed the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale and is a professor at Harvard University, where he directs The Project on the City, a research programme on changes in urban conditions around the world. This programme has conducted research on the delta of the Pearl River in China (entitled Great Leap Forward) and on consumer society (The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping). Taschen Verlag has published the results. Now is preparing a major exhibition for the Guggenheim museum to open in 2019 entitled Countryside: Future of the World.
Among the awards he has won in recent years, we mention here the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize (2000), the Praemium Imperiale (2003), the Royal Gold Medal (2004) and the Mies Van Der Rohe prize (2005). In 2008, Time mentioned him among the 100 most influential people of the planet.
Clément Blanchet Architecture (cBA) is an innovative architecture and urban design practice that brings together multidisciplinary and multicultural actors on themes around the city, architecture and all media related to it. The firm approaches the design of architecture, infrastructure and the city as necessarily interrelated, and in negotiation with planning, development and public space. The practice is structured as a laboratory, informing and generating architecture and urbanism out of the conditions of the city and territory.
The synergy between theory and practice is the base of its methodological approach. The practice engages the consciousness of reality, of the real world, but also the analysis of phenomena – environmental, developmental, economic - that affect and feed architecture. This methodology not only deals with inventions but also with manipulations, making program legible, and ensuring resilience and durability over time. This structure operates at multiple scales; from designing interiors to public cultural facilities, while considering specific approaches in the areas of education, housing, infrastructure, landscape and urbanism. The firm has also developed tools for dialogue with different urban and project actors, aimed to place the user at the heart of the creative process.
Clément Blanchet is Principle of Clément Blanchet Architecture (cBA) and a former Associate of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), where he joined in 2004.
In 2011, Clement Blanchet was appointed Director of OMA France, with whom cBA continues to collaborate with on ongoing projects led by Blanchet.
He graduated with high honours from the Architectural school of Versailles and has been an invited critic in France, England, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark & Sweden. He currently teaches at Paris Val de Seine Architectural School and ESA. Clément Blanchet divides his time between this firm in Paris and the United States where he also teaches at the University of Michigan and Rice University.