Architecture is a strange mixture of persistence and flux, an amalgamation of elements -- some that have been around for over 5,000 years and others that were (re)invented yesterday. The fact that these elements change independently of each other, according to different cycles and economies, and for different reasons, turns each building into a complex collage of the archaic and the current, the site-specific and the standard, mechanical smoothness and the spontaneous. Only by looking at the elements under a wide lens can we recognize thecultural preferences, forgotten symbolism, technological advances, mutations triggered by intensifying global exchange, climatic adaptions, political calculations, regulatory requirements, new digital regimes, and, somewhere in the mix -- the ideas of the architect that constitute the practice of architecture today. A collection of these essential elements into 15 books in a package launched at the 2014 Venice Biennale that allows us to look through a microscope at the real fundamentals of our buildings and see again the essential design techniques used by any architect, anywhere, anytime.
Rem Koolhaas, winner of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Biennale Architettura 2010, and the Pritzker Prize in 2000, founded OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. Recently completed OMA buildings led by Koolhaas include the new headquarters for China Central Television in Beijing, a new headquarters for Rothschild Bank in London, the Wyly Theatre, Dallas, and Milstein Hall, an extension to Cornell's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.