The Koolhaas and Foster Battle Royale


Juicy bit of architecture news by way of Daily Dose of Architecture: bdonline is reporting that Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster are exchanging some heated words about who came up with plans first for two remarkable similar-looking, but separate development plans, both right next to each other in Abu Dhabi. Koolhaas has his four kilometer Rak Gateway, which looks like a big square block of buildings and Foster has a big square block of buildings in his six kilometer “zero-carbon, zero-waste city” plans. And that coincidence don’t sit well with either of them. Here’s a bit:

“We want to establish that we launched this project in November last year,” Koolhaas told BD.

“It needed a conversation [with Foster & Partners] about how plausible it was that these similarities could happen.”

Fellow OMA partner Reinier de Graaf said its scheme was the “most radical in the world” in terms of density and its mix of functions.

But a spokeswoman for Foster’s insisted that “apart from the square shape,” there were no similarities between the schemes. She said the firm had no prior knowledge of the OMA project, despite it being shown at Mipim in March.