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From Bauhaus To Our House To Koolhaas: The Office For Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) And Modern American Culture

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on a particular aspect of Rem Koolhaas's production, namely his American/Dutch-ness and the context of his formal innovation. It has two principal objectives: to describe the advances of his Rotterdam-based architectural practice, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), on the European legacy in American Modernist architecture, and, perhaps more challengingly, to stake a claim for the socio-political Dutchness of Koolhaas's two most recent buildings in the United States-the McCormick-Tribune Campus Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago (2003) and the Seattle Central Library (2004). These two aims attach a cultural specificity to contemporary architectural production and its producers. In the process the chapter describes another unique aspect of the Dutch experience in America and the mutually beneficial effect it has had on creativity/form.

Keywords:American Modernist architecture; cultural specificity; Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA); Rem Koolhaas; socio-political Dutchness



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