Koolhaas Talks China, the Industry and Koolhaas

If you need an opening hook to your story, look no further than this one we found by way of Archinect, “Rem Koolhaas has some photographs to show me.” How’s that for a big punch right off the bat? It’s from an interview with the starchitect in Jonathan Glancey‘s piece, “Welcome to the Future,” in the Guardian. In it, Koolhaas talks a lot about his past and a lot about his new project, the China Central Television building in Beijing. It’s a fun read and should provide you with enough Koolhaas to last the week.

When he says he hates “celebrity” culture, he almost means it. Koolhaas, though, is nothing if not contradictory. A man who thrives on free thinking, he works happily for absolutist governments. An architect who claims to distrust fashions in design, he is responsible for some of the most eyecatching of all new buildings, the Casa da Musica and CCTV chief among them. He is also in the process of designing “anti-icons”, buildings that are almost willfully bland or simplistic, in Dubai. He seems to find the growth of Dubai absurd, yet is very much involved there, with the design of ambitious office buildings (one designed to revolve), apartment blocks and convention centres. Some of Oma‘s Dubai designs, such as the proposed Ras-al-Khaimah convention and exhibition centre, look as if they’ve been culled from the pages of sci-fi comics; others seem like slab-sided 1960s office towers.