University of Illinois at Chicago (Paulina)

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    Wired picks on Rem

    By Paulina
    Feb 26, '05 1:26 AM EST

    from the Wired awards... (regardless to what you may think of Wired magazine post-op)

    Latest hit: The new crown jewel of Seattle. Koolhaas and his firm, OMA, didn't set out to build a house of books. The architects wanted to crack a bigger problem: how to store information. "A library has to adapt to social and technological change and to the accumulation of books," says Koolhaas.

    Novel solution: The Books Spiral, a continuous ramp of shelves winding from the sixth floor up. It holds the library's roughly 750,000 volumes in Dewey Decimal Classification order, and as the collection grows, books can be packed in more densely, maintaining the sequence.

    Post-Pritzker: Koolhaas, 60, built a reputation - and won the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2000 - with a series of head-turning designs in the 1970s and '80s. While very few of his early plans were actually built, no one can call him a paper architect these days. In the past 18 months, OMA completed eight projects and won seven more, including the redevelopment of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Writing roots: His own books - especially 1978's Delirious New York - have garnered almost as much acclaim as his architecture. (Koolhaas began his career as a journalist and guest-edited Wired 11.06.) This year, look for a book on Lagos, Nigeria, and another on Rome as the first global city.

    Next: Kill the conventional skyscraper, which Koolhaas says "is no longer an interesting form." For the new China Central TV headquarters, which broke ground in September, he's creating a 54-story building in the shape of an Escher-like loop. - Jessie Scanlon

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