Rem Koolhaas founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. Having worked as a journalist and script writer before becoming an architect, Koolhaas graduated from the Architectural Association in London, and in 1978 published Delirious New York, a Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. In 1995, his book S,M,L,XL summarized the work of OMA and established connections between contemporary society and architecture. Rem Koolhaas is heading the work of OMA as well as AMO – the conceptual branch of OMA, a think tank focused on social, economic, and technological issues.
OMA has completed the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin, a campus center at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, the Prada Epicenter in Los Angeles and the Public Library in Seattle. The Seattle Library was chosen by TIME Magazine as The Best Architecture for 2004.
In April 2005 the Casa da Musica concert hall in Porto was completed and was already voted as one of the most important concert halls in the world by the New York Times. Recent AMO projects include a study for the European Commission on the visual identity of the EU, image restructuring for Condé Nast magazines Lucky and Wired, a study on the future of the automobile for Volkswagen, and a study concerning preservation for the city of Beijing. By combining AMO and OMA Rem Koolhaas is seen as one of the most important thinkers of the last decades. The work of Rem Koolhaas and OMA has been celebrated as well by several international awards.
In his presentations Rem examines the relationship between built structures, human behaviour, commerce and culture. He offers a truly unique perspective which focuses on changing urban conditions around the world and the role of retail and consumption in contemporary society.