The Historical Project of Rem Koolhas: Delirious New York

written by Luka Skansi


The Myth. In spite of its still too-recent publication, it is impossible not to see the impact made and the changes wrought by the publication “S, M, L, XL” on contemporary architectural discourse. The importance of this monolithic book, still untestable and unprovable for the time in which we live, should be sought beyond and above its contents and topics; its importance is certainly much greater than much of the architecture built by the author, or by any other contemporary architect.


At the same time, which needs special analysis, with the “S, M, L, XL” operation, Rem Koolhaas has managed to build his own myth, which tends towards the concealment of the cultural and intellectual project standing behind the construction. This is a myth that Koolhaas has constructed around himself, with the precise aim of putting himself outside history and beyond the conflicts and themes of today’s international architectural debate. A myth that is always, as we know very well, anti-historical.