As Money Dries Up, So Does Architecture

Koolhaas reflects on 'end to a period' of megabuildings
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2009 9:44 AM CDT
As Money Dries Up, So Does Architecture
Architect Rem Koolhaas addresses the media in 2004 at a new Prada store in Beverly Hills, Calif.    (Getty Images)

When the tower next to Rem Koolhaas’ mammoth CCTV skyscraper in Beijing went up in flames, it seemed to mark the end of an era. After years of pricey signature projects, architects are seeing commissions cut, and projects are languishing. “I don't even know about the word ‘downturn,’” Koolhaas tells the Wall Street Journal. “It seems simply the end to a period.”

Koolhaas has several projects on hold, while other star architects such as Norman Foster have had entire commissions scrapped. While daring projects with no regard to cost may be a thing of the past, the Dutchman is sanguine about changes in the profession: “Architecture is in such a permanent state of flux and turmoil that we have no stability anyway.” (More Rem Koolhaas stories.)

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