2004 - Rem Koolhaas 1944 -

Casa da Musica, Rotunda da Boavista, Porto

Designer: Koolhaas, Rem (1944-) Office for Metropolitan Architecture
Copyright: Duccio Malagamba/RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (2006)

It falls to few architects to be 'cool' to more than a single generation. Rem Koolhaas and his buildings have been just that, and an inspiration to his peers for more than 30 years.


The citation was written by Zaha Hadid who was taught by Koolhaas and worked with him at OMA. ‘Many of my interests and approaches owe very important debts to him. And here I believe I talk not only in the name of the jury but also as a representative of a whole generation whose views, approaches and even aesthetics have been radically affected by Rem ...


'Probably the most important role that he has played in shaping the debate is his proverbial capacity to push the borders of the discipline further and further away, to integrate new areas within architecture, and to enlarge the domains in which architects operate beyond their most conventional limits - to give architecture more breathing space at a time when the architectural debate seemed to have fallen into a dead end of discussions of language and of history. He managed to take architecture away from the simple role of building and to turn it into a discipline that suddenly could process all sorts of materials - politics, economics, lifestyles, culture, the city ... Rem’s approach to architecture represents a possibility of re-connecting with reality, finding opportunities to make architecture everywhere ...


McCormick Tribune Campus Center

Designer: Koolhaas, Rem (1944-) Office for Metropolitan Architecture
Copyright: Roland Halbe/RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (2004)

'So in his buildings, details address the everyday life rituals, lifestyles, conventions rather than simply delivering manual-like tried and tested details. The Bordeaux House, the Kunsthal, the Porto concert hall, the Dutch Embassy in Berlin are full of these significant small-scale inventions ...


'I am sure that in his hands this award will become a tool for the evolution of the discipline. For all of this Rem, I would like to thank you and to congratulate you on this achievement.'


'No one has influenced the professional and academic architectural landscape more since he entered the profession in the late seventies.'