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Description

Product Description

S,M,L,XL presents a selection of the remarkable visionary design work produced by the Dutch firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.) and its acclaimed founder, Rem Koolhaas, in its first twenty years, along with a variety of insightful, often poetic writings. The inventive collaboration between Koolhaas and designer Bruce Mau is a graphic overture that weaves together architectural projects, photos and sketches, diary excerpts, personal travelogues, fairy tales, and fables, as well as critical essays on contemporary architecture and society.

The book''s title is also its framework: projects and essays are arranged according to scale. While Small and Medium address issues ranging from the domestic to the public, Large focuses on what Koolhaas calls "the architecture of Bigness." Extra-Large features projects at the urban scale, along with the important essay "What Ever Happened to Urbanism?" and other studies of the contemporary city. Running throughout the book is a "dictionary" of an adventurous new Koolhaasian language -- definitions, commentaries, and quotes from hundreds of literary, cultural, artistic, and architectural sources.

From Publishers Weekly

Koolhaas, Dutch architect, author (Delirious New York) and cult figure, wants architecture to be "a chaotic adventure," and this massive tome certainly is. Created with Toronto-based designer Mau, it''s a huge collage splicing freewheeling essays, diary excerpts, photographs, architectural plans, sketches, cartoons and surreal montages of images. There''s also a running glossary of Zen-like definitions, plus fables and parables intended to shake modern architects out of conventional thinking and to dispel urban despair. In one essay, Koolhaas admires Japan''s metabolist movement, which fuses organic, scientific, mechanistic and romantic vocabularies. That approach seems compatible with his own innovative, eclectic vision as head of the Dutch firm Office of Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.), whose houses, villas, office towers, libraries, colleges, cultural complexes and other projects are showcased here. While some readers may be mystified by a nonlinear hodgepodge, architects, planners and designers will find this frequently outrageous assemblage a provocative repository of ideas. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A brick of a book ... This book tells a tale, a great contemporary architectural odyssey-the story of how this architect came to think big."

About the Author

Rem Koolhaas is founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.); the firm''s most important projects include the Lille Grand Palais in Lille; the Kunsthal in Rotterdam; Netherlands Dance Theatre in The Hague; Nexus Housing in Fukuoka; the Dutch House in Holland; and Villa dall''Ava in Paris, all of which are included in S,M,L,XL. Koolhaas is author of the seminal Delirious New York and professor in practice of architecture and urban design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Bruce Mau founded the critically acclaimed firm Bruce Mau Design in 1985. He is the author of Life Style and Massive Change.

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
189 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Jerry White
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Required Reading
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2017
While I would have appreciated including XS and XXL, I can understand why they needed to focus and hone in as they did. Not only that, but this way they''ve left room for both a prequel and sequel: well played, indeed!
While I would have appreciated including XS and XXL, I can understand why they needed to focus and hone in as they did. Not only that, but this way they''ve left room for both a prequel and sequel: well played, indeed!
2 people found this helpful
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Di W George
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Huge book with great architectural thoughts and graphic design
Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2011
I have to say that it''s a bit difficult to go through, because it''s a GIANT book. I tried reading every bit of it from the first page, and it seemed like I''d never finish. I put it down for a little while, and now I just pick it up and start reading from any random page. I... See more
I have to say that it''s a bit difficult to go through, because it''s a GIANT book. I tried reading every bit of it from the first page, and it seemed like I''d never finish. I put it down for a little while, and now I just pick it up and start reading from any random page. I don''t agree with some of Rem''s design ideals but I''ve learned a lot from this book.
Another thing to mention here is the great graphic design by Mau, it gives you a lot of ideas just from looking into any random page! I learned about Mau in school and absolutely love his designs!
Very worthy book to have in your book collection!
I have to say that it''s a bit difficult to go through, because it''s a GIANT book. I tried reading every bit of it from the first page, and it seemed like I''d never finish. I put it down for a little while, and now I just pick it up and start reading from any random page. I don''t agree with some of Rem''s design ideals but I''ve learned a lot from this book.
Another thing to mention here is the great graphic design by Mau, it gives you a lot of ideas just from looking into any random page! I learned about Mau in school and absolutely love his designs!
Very worthy book to have in your book collection!
2 people found this helpful
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j2003b
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Still one of the leading theoretical texts for Architects, Urban Designers and Urban Planners.
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2013
Rem Koolhaas, in terms of theoretical discourse sets the bar in SMLXL for architects, urban designers and planners at an international scale. This books is the foundation of many of his most recent work. It''s theories, mainly in regards to the ''Generic City'' are visible in... See more
Rem Koolhaas, in terms of theoretical discourse sets the bar in SMLXL for architects, urban designers and planners at an international scale. This books is the foundation of many of his most recent work. It''s theories, mainly in regards to the ''Generic City'' are visible in our worlds largest cities to the most rural areas on Earth. Truly a must have for anyone in the design or built environment fields.
Rem Koolhaas, in terms of theoretical discourse sets the bar in SMLXL for architects, urban designers and planners at an international scale. This books is the foundation of many of his most recent work. It''s theories, mainly in regards to the ''Generic City'' are visible in our worlds largest cities to the most rural areas on Earth. Truly a must have for anyone in the design or built environment fields.
2 people found this helpful
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Jake
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Love it!
Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2013
Rem Koolhaas is one of my favorite architects, so this book is a nice addition to my collection. It''s not so much a collection of projects as it is a manifesto of conceptual and theoretical architecture. There is much that may seem like it is unrelated, but once you really... See more
Rem Koolhaas is one of my favorite architects, so this book is a nice addition to my collection. It''s not so much a collection of projects as it is a manifesto of conceptual and theoretical architecture. There is much that may seem like it is unrelated, but once you really read through the book, it will all make sense.
Rem Koolhaas is one of my favorite architects, so this book is a nice addition to my collection. It''s not so much a collection of projects as it is a manifesto of conceptual and theoretical architecture. There is much that may seem like it is unrelated, but once you really read through the book, it will all make sense.
One person found this helpful
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Andres
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Buen producto
Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2021
El libro es excelente, considerando que es usado esta en un estado aceptable, un poco elevado el precio considerando el estado del libro.
El libro es excelente, considerando que es usado esta en un estado aceptable, un poco elevado el precio considerando el estado del libro.
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Shawn Traylor
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Cooler than it is useful
Reviewed in the United States on October 30, 2013
The book is certainly fun to flip through - the design is amazing and the images say a lot. I found myself confused, however, with some of the content and overall did not find it particularly accessible / functional as a tool for understanding D.M.A. and their work.
The book is certainly fun to flip through - the design is amazing and the images say a lot. I found myself confused, however, with some of the content and overall did not find it particularly accessible / functional as a tool for understanding D.M.A. and their work.
One person found this helpful
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Paul Mosher
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A heavy book for a heavy subject
Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2016
I wish that I had the attention span to read this all the way through and comprehend it. Maybe one day...
I wish that I had the attention span to read this all the way through and comprehend it. Maybe one day...
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Claire Mo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
classic
Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2013
i read through chapters but not all of it. it''s amazingly put together by Mau, and the theories are still rocking the contemprary architecture world
i read through chapters but not all of it. it''s amazingly put together by Mau, and the theories are still rocking the contemprary architecture world
One person found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

dogonaki78
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 5, 2017
a classical architectural book to have in your library to be inspired by
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Pef
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book for architects
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 2, 2012
Fantastic, the only thing is that you feel a bit disappointed by its size. you pay good money for it so you would expect a bit bigger size. But overall, great.
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Yoav
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 4, 2015
Excellent condition, thank you!
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Marcos André Ferreira de Meireles Veiga
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A really good choice and a very good book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 12, 2013
A really good choice and a very good book! I would definitely recommend it to the lovers of this work.
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anis azlin
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2015
Good for architectural inspirations
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