High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

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High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

The Terrible Beauty of the Twentieth Century. A Portrait of Rem Koolhaas
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The Terrible Beauty of the Twentieth Century. A Portrait of Rem Koolhaas

(Paul Vermeulen ) The Low Countries - 1994, № 2, pp. 223-228

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Rem Koolhaas, the Netherlands' most celebrated and most articulate architect, has a complex relationship to his native country. While his fame is widespread there — to the point where even TV satirists have poked fun at his celebrity — and his views have dominated debate in recent years, his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has built little in the Netherlands. On more than one occasion OMA has failed to secure a prestigious commission, and each time its design has given rise to a good deal of talk and controversy, with large sections of the architectural press accusing the client of timidly favouring mediocrity. What Koolhaas would like to see is an architecture that is visionary without being naïve.

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