The Venice Architecture Biennale confirmed today what has been rumored since the last Biennale: Rem Koolhaas will be the architecture festival's next director.
Koolhaas, of course, needs little introduction. The Dutch architect and founder of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is responsible for some of the most iconic designs in the world, including the pretzeled CCTV tower in Beijing. OMA designed Milstein Hall, an addition for Cornell University's College of Art, Architecture & Planning, in 2011. The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre (a REX/OMA collaboration) at Dallas's AT&T Performing Arts Center won a 2011 AIA Honor Award. Koolhaas, who is a professor at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, also serves as the unofficial dean of Moscow's new, progressive Strelka Institute. And he is responsible for one of the best known architecture texts of the last 20 years, S M L XL.
This honor follows very recent acclaim for Koolhaas in Venice: He received the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at 2010's Venice Architecture Biennale. He also won the Pritzker Prize in 2000.
It comes as no real surprise that Koolhaas will direct the next Biennale, which will be held in 2014. Kieran Long, senior curator at the V&A Museum and architecture critic for The Evening Standard (and occasional ARCHITECT contributor), predicted back in August that Koolhaas would get the nod—while the Biennale was still going on. Koolhaas succeeds architect David Chipperfield, who directed the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012.