Campus & Community

Koolhaas takes the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2000

2 min read

Remment Koolhaas, professor in practice of architecture and urban design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, is the winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize for 2000. The Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award, will present Koolhaas with the prize and its $100,000 grant on May 17 in Jerusalem.

The Pritzker Prize has been considered the Nobel of architecture. Previous winners include I.M. Pei, Aldo Rossi, Luis Barragan, and Philip Johnson.

Koolhaas may be best known for his designs for Euralille, a trade and transportation center in Lille, France. Koolhaas’ chief contribution is the Grand Palais, also known as Congrexpo, a 200,000-square-foot oval convention center comprising a concert hall and three auditoriums. The design won the 1992 Antonio Gaudí Prize.

As both a theorist and a designer, Koolhaas has more than earned his credentials as an explorer of future urban conditions. His influential book, Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan (Monacelli, 1978, 1994), took a contrarian view of urban design by celebrating the city’s congestion and architectural diversity.

His second book, S, M, L, XL (Penguin, 1995), a 5-pound tome containing more than 1,300 pages of words, photographs, and drawings, portrays the activities of Koolhaas and his Rotterdam-based firm, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in a way that emphasizes his conception of architecture as “chaotic adventure.” The title refers to the range of sizes in which an architect is required to work – from private houses to convention centers.

At Harvard, Koolhaas teaches and conducts design research, combining studios, workshops, and seminars into a focused investigation of current urban-architectural conditions in various parts of the world. He is currently engaged in thesis advising through the ongoing “Project on the City.”

A former journalist and screenwriter, Koolhaas studied at the Architectural Association, in London, and was a Harkness fellow with O.M. Ungers at Cornell University. Koolhaas has taught at the University of California at Los Angeles, Columbia University, and the Architectural Association, and has been a visiting design critic and juror at universities worldwide.