OMA’s Kunsthal in Rotterdam: Rem Koolhaas and the New Europe
Park Books, 2023
Opened in 1992, the Kunsthal in Rotterdam is a key design in the portfolio of Rem Koolhaas and OMA, the renowned firm Koolhaas cofounded in 1975. It is part of the Museumpark, a park also designed by OMA and the location of the Nederlands Architectuurinstituut NAi, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, and the Museum of Natural History. The Kunsthal’s exhibition space is divided into three large exhibition halls and two smaller galleries. The building also houses an auditorium and a restaurant.
This outstanding space for art is a prime destination for countless architecture fans every year, and is celebrated by Tibor Pataky, architect and architectural historian, in this inspiring book. He explains the history, the programmatic background, and the cultural references of the design, which has been adapted several times. He also places it in the context of OMA’s work of the 1980s and the intellectual environment of Deconstructivism. Eight captivating series of illustrations—historic and new photographs, plans and documents from OMA’s archive, and other images—focus on the structure’s outstanding qualities and its embedding within the park. A set of new plans, newly drawn for this book, illustrate the highlights of OMA’s design. The volume is a hugely attractive tribute to one of the most significant works of post-WWII architecture in Europe.