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*** sunday times_99.07.25

[ The cult of Koolhaas]
  • rather dour
    "Koolhaas - aged 55, tall, thin, balding, stooped, with an anxious mien and with a style of public speaking that is not so much monotonous as catatonic - is treated as a rock star by successive generations of wannabe architects." (Hugh Pearman, st_99.07.25)
  • tightrope
    "He is the David Bowie of the built environment in everything except personal charisma, and the absence of that, strangely, seems not to matter." (Hugh Pearman, st_99.07.25)

  • flummery
    "Why are you famous, I ask him? Why do you have such a following? ...

    -- 'I'm still able to disappoint expectations,' he replies with a rare smile." (Rem Koolhaas, in Hugh Pearman, st_99.07.25)

  • overwhelming identity
    "Even his name ... in Dutch it means "Cabbage Hare", while his first name, Rem, surreally means 'brake'. " (Hugh Pearman, st_99.07.25)

  • multi-focal
    "Once he looked set to be purely a teacher and writer. Now, he is one of the rarified globe-trotting elite of in-demand architects, most of whom you know he despises." (Hugh Pearman, st_99.07.25)

  • fairly typical
    "At a recent London lecture, when a tanked-up student asked him what football team he supported, Koolhaas paused for a ludicrously long time before replying: 'That depends.'" (Hugh Pearman, st_99.07.25)

  • portenteous
    "This is absolutely true to the point of being rather obvious. It doesn't amount to much as a theory, you'd think - but it's the way he tells 'em. The presentation, the packaging, the air of myth and mystery ..." (Hugh Pearman, st_99.07.25)

  • window-dressing
    "He gets positively animated when the question of beauty comes up." (Hugh Pearman, st_99.07.25)

  • vouchsafe
    "One by one, with courtesy and efficiency, Koolhaas bats the questions away." (Hugh Pearman, st_99.07.25)

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