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S, M, L, XL: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
     

S, M, L, XL: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large

by Rem Koolhaas, Bruce Mau
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Artforum
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.
Washington Post
Serious books cities tend to come in batches every couple of years. Because of its sheer exuberance, brilliance, and artistry, S,M,L,XL tops the list. Koolhaas is that rare architect who writes trenchantly and with style. A seductive collage of typology, words, and images.
Martin Filler
Perhaps afraid that readers will be daunted from advancing into the depths of this silver-covered brick of a book, Mr. Koolhaas runs a 'dictionary' in the margins throughout. . . By turns portentous and sophomoric, this self-conscious device seems more suited to a high school yearbook. . . . With its high price, lavish production values and chic juxtapositions of violent news photos, pornographic outtakes, cheap advertisements and fine-art reproductions, [S, M, L, XL] is closer in spirit to the deluxe boxed CD sets of aging 60's rock stars. -- New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Mar.)
Herbert Muschamp
S,M,L,XL was the most important architecture book of the decade.
Artforum

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781885254863
Publisher:
The Monacelli Press
Publication date:
10/28/1997
Edition description:
Subsequent
Pages:
1344
Sales rank:
211,382
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.42(h) x 2.75(d)

Meet 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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