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“What ever happened to Urbanism?”

The Pearl River Delta

Fri 07.11.1997, 18:30-00:00

lecture by: Rem Koolhaas

“What ever happened to Urbanism ?”

was the question, the Architekturzentrum Wien addressed to the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. In his introductory lecture he turned his attention to Asia, as if Europe did not interest him at all.
When considering the urbanistic expansion and consolidation of Asian metropolitan cities in the last decade, it no longer seems surprising to find the world’s highest building not in Chicago but in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. Without any doubt a new kind of urbanity is evolving in modern Asia.
Rem Koolhas’ characterization of the modern Asian metropolis is difficult for Europeans to grasp: the idea of a city without history. History as an addendum only to be encountered in “theme parks”. What do metropolitan cities represent? What is their identity when they are no longer bridges to history? Have the cities of Asia turned to “generic cities”, have they been reduced to monumental skyscrapers embedded in rice fields?
Using the “Pearl River Delta Project” in China as an example, Rem Koolhaas analyzes the developments of urbanization, which to European observers seem very radical, in a research project.

Lecture in RealAudio©

Rem Koolhaas
“What ever happened to Urbanism?” – Das Pearl River Delta-Projekt

Lecture in english, given during the 5 th Vienna Archtecture Congress at the
Kassasaal der Österreichischen Postsparkasse, Vienna

Lecture in RealAudio© [ 67:08 min ]

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