Koolhaas Wins Pritzker Prize
In April, Rem Koolhaas, a 56-year-old architect from the Netherlands, was named the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate for the year 2000. The controversial yet critically acclaimed architect will receive the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in architecture in a ceremony in Jeruselem on May 29. At that time, Koolhaas will be presented with a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion. He is the 23rd Pritzker Laureate to be honored and the first from the Netherlands.
In Europe, Koolhaas has completed a number of projects that have won high praise from critics, including a residence in Bordeaux, France; the Educatorium, a multifunction building for Utrecht University in the Netherlands; and the master plan and Grand Palais for Lille, France which is his largest realized urban planning project.
He has several major commissions in the United States that will come to fruition within the next two years: a student center for the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and a new central public library for Seattle, Washington. Koolhaas' work and ideas often spark critical debate. While his radical design for the library has won some praise, initial reports describe Seattle as "bracing for a wild ride with a man famous for straying outside the bounds of convention."
Citation from the Jury
In their summary of Koolhaas's contribution, the Pritzker Prize jury wrote: "His architecture is an architecture of essence; ideas given built form. He is an architect obviously comfortable with the future and in close communication with its fast pace and changing configurations. One senses in his projects the intensity of thought that forms the armature resulting in a house, a convention center, a campus plan, or a book. He has firmly established himself in the pantheon of significant architects of the last century and the dawning of this one. For just over twenty years of accomplishing his objectives - defining new types of relationships, both theoretical and practical, between architecture and the cultural situation, and for his contributions to the built environment, as well as for his ideas, he is awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize."
Rem Koolhaas, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Photo: (c) Sanne Peper Fotografie
The Bordeaux house, named as Best Design of 1998 by Time magazine.
Photo: Hectic Pictures