Rem Koolhaas' Current Fascinations: On Identity, Asia, the Biennale, & More

01:00 - 19 March, 2014
Rem Koolhaas' Current Fascinations: On Identity, Asia, the Biennale, & More, Courtesy of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, via Flickr
Courtesy of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, via Flickr

In this interview, originally published in The Architectural Review, Andrew Mackenzie sits down with OMA founder Rem Koolhaas to discuss the Venice Biennale, the extinction of national identities, his fascination with Asia, the link between De Rotterdam and Delirious New York, and the future of the profession.

Your proposition for this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale asks whether national identity has been, as you say, ‘sacrificed to modernity’. Some might view this as a project of reclamation, not unlike Frampton’s regionalism. How would you differentiate your proposition from Frampton’s?

Well, Kenneth Frampton is a smart guy, but the problem is that he looked at regionalism as an antidote to cosmopolitan development. In so doing he perverted the cause of regionalism, because suddenly regionalism was mobilised as a private cause that it couldn’t sustain. However, the question of national identity is an open one. For instance, at first sight the Netherlands is a very internationalist country, but looking closely you can see an enormous return of, not vernacular, but quasi-vernacular architecture and quasi-old fortresses that are newly built with a national flavour. Look at Zaandam, and that huge assemblage of so-called vernacular buildings.

House in Daisen / Osumi Yuso Architects Office

01:00 - 18 March, 2014
House in Daisen  / Osumi Yuso Architects Office, © Ryo Hata
© Ryo Hata

© Ryo Hata © Ryo Hata © Ryo Hata © Ryo Hata +15

Shigeru Ban Selected to Design Mount Fuji World Heritage Center

00:00 - 17 March, 2014
Shigeru Ban Selected to Design Mount Fuji World Heritage Center, Courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects
Courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects

Shigeru Ban was pulled from a selection of 238 competitors as the “best person” to design the new Mount Fuji World Heritage Center in the Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan. The 4,300 square meter structure is expected to cost up to ¥2.4 billion and complete in the year 2016. We will keep you posted as more detail become available. 

Shirokane House / MDS

01:00 - 12 March, 2014
Shirokane House / MDS, © Forward Stroke inc.
© Forward Stroke inc.
  • Architects

  • Location

    Minato, Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Kiyotoshi Mori & Natsuko Kawamura
  • Site Area

    64.49m2
  • Area

    102.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Forward Stroke inc. © Forward Stroke inc. © Forward Stroke inc. © Forward Stroke inc. +17

Hinanai Village House / DYGSA

01:00 - 11 March, 2014
Hinanai Village House / DYGSA, Courtesy of DYGSA
Courtesy of DYGSA
  • Architects

  • Location

    Hiroshima, Japan
  • Area

    91.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of DYGSA

Courtesy of DYGSA Courtesy of DYGSA Courtesy of DYGSA Courtesy of DYGSA +20

SunnyHills at Minami-Aoyama / Kengo Kuma & Associates

01:00 - 11 March, 2014
SunnyHills at Minami-Aoyama / Kengo Kuma & Associates, © Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

© Daici Ano Construction Process. Image © Kengo Kuma & Associates © Daici Ano Construction Process. Image © Kengo Kuma & Associates +38

4n House / ninkipen!

01:00 - 8 March, 2014
4n House / ninkipen!, © Hiroki Kawata
© Hiroki Kawata
  • Architects

  • Location

    Ikoma, Nara, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Yasuo Imazu
  • Area

    118.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Hiroki Kawata © Hiroki Kawata © Hiroki Kawata © Hiroki Kawata +23

House in Kitakarasuyama / Mizuishi Architect Atelier

01:00 - 6 March, 2014
House in Kitakarasuyama / Mizuishi Architect Atelier, © Hiroshi Tanigawa
© Hiroshi Tanigawa

© Hiroshi Tanigawa © Hiroshi Tanigawa © Hiroshi Tanigawa © Hiroshi Tanigawa +31

House in Yokawa / Mosaic Design

01:00 - 6 March, 2014
House in Yokawa / Mosaic Design, © Takeshi Yamagishi
© Takeshi Yamagishi
  • Architects

  • Location

    Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
  • Design Team

    Ko Nakamura, Yurika Orita
  • Constructor

    Yamamoto Komuten
  • Area

    253.43 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Takeshi Yamagishi © Takeshi Yamagishi © Takeshi Yamagishi © Takeshi Yamagishi +21

Ogimachi Global Dispensing Pharmacy / ninkipen! + TKY JAPAN

01:00 - 5 March, 2014
Ogimachi Global Dispensing Pharmacy / ninkipen! + TKY JAPAN, © Hiroki kawata
© Hiroki kawata
  • Architects

  • Location

    Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
  • Architects in Charge

    Toshikatsu Ienari, Kenta Fukunishi, Yasuo Imazu/ninkipen!
  • Area

    61.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

© Hiroki kawata © Hiroki kawata © Hiroki kawata © Hiroki kawata +22

Agui House / ALTS Design Office

01:00 - 5 March, 2014
Agui House / ALTS Design Office, Courtesy of ALTS Design Office
Courtesy of ALTS Design Office
  • Architects

  • Location

    Aichi, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Sumiou Mizumoto, Yoshitaka Kuga
  • Area

    121.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of ALTS Design Office

Courtesy of ALTS Design Office Courtesy of ALTS Design Office Courtesy of ALTS Design Office Courtesy of ALTS Design Office +20

room 211 Hotel T'Point / Mifune Design Studio

01:00 - 4 March, 2014
room 211 Hotel T'Point / Mifune Design Studio, © Yasunori Shimomura
© Yasunori Shimomura

© Yasunori Shimomura © Yasunori Shimomura © Yasunori Shimomura © Yasunori Shimomura +10

Krampon House / Shogo Aratani Architect & Associates

01:00 - 3 March, 2014
Krampon House / Shogo Aratani Architect & Associates, © Yutaka Kinumaki
© Yutaka Kinumaki

© Yutaka Kinumaki © Yutaka Kinumaki © Yutaka Kinumaki © Yutaka Kinumaki +17

House M / Teppei Fujiwara Architects Labo

01:00 - 2 March, 2014
House M / Teppei Fujiwara Architects Labo, © Sadao Hotta
© Sadao Hotta

© Sadao Hotta © Sadao Hotta © Sadao Hotta © Sadao Hotta +13

O Dispensing Pharmacy / ninkipen!

01:00 - 2 March, 2014
O Dispensing Pharmacy / ninkipen!, © Hiroki Kawata
© Hiroki Kawata
  • Architects

  • Location

    Ōgaki, Gifu, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Yasuo Imazu
  • Structural Engineer

    Yosiki Mondo
  • Area

    172.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Hiroki Kawata © Hiroki Kawata © Hiroki Kawata © Hiroki Kawata +14

The Freakonomics Podcast Tackles the Question: Why Is Japan Crazy About Housing?

00:00 - 2 March, 2014
The Freakonomics Podcast Tackles the Question: Why Is Japan Crazy About Housing?, House NA / Sou Fujimoto Architects. Image © Iwan Baan
House NA / Sou Fujimoto Architects. Image © Iwan Baan

Freakonomics has just posted a fascinating new podcast that takes on the question posed by Alastair Townsend in our AD original article: “Why Japan is Crazy About Housing.” The podcast consults with Townsend and economic experts to present a thought-provoking answer to the puzzling question of why Japan builds architecture that is avant-garde and yet, ultimately, disposable. The answer may just surprise you. Listen to the whole podcast here:

House For Seven People / mnm

01:00 - 27 February, 2014
© Sadao Hotta
© Sadao Hotta
  • Architects

  • Location

    Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Mio Tsuneyama, Madeleine Kessler
  • Area

    78.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Morinaka Yasuaki © Sadao Hotta © Morinaka Yasuaki © Sadao Hotta +21

Double circular rings in Todoroki / Teppei Fujiwara Architects Labo

01:00 - 27 February, 2014
Double circular rings in Todoroki / Teppei Fujiwara Architects Labo, © Yamagishi
© Yamagishi

© Muraguchi © Muraguchi © Muraguchi © Muraguchi +12