Tools & Furniture

Given Rem Koolhaas’s predilection for large scales, he manifested himself distant from the world of design, and did not hesitate to describe it as “redundant” on occasion. Unlike other architects, Koolhaas was apparently oblivious to the desire to create a “total work of art“, a concrete and determined environment where all its elements are designed to form part of a unique and singular perception.

Rem Koolhaas comes from the world of cinema and in his works juxtaposes elements of diverse origins as in a film edition, to which he joins a certain valuation of the banal, of the ordinary, and a taste for the contrast that some authors consider close to “surrealism.”

However, furniture has played a decidedly leading role in some of his works, such as the bookcase that accompanies the mobile platform of the house in Bordeaux or the furniture designed by Arne Quinze for the Seattle library. Furthermore, like other star architects, Koolhaas and his studio has designed in 2013 a collection of furniture that sought to transfer their conception of architecture to the scale of the object.

We wanted to create a range of furniture that performs in very precise but also in completely unpredictable ways, furniture that not only contributes to the interior but also to the animation Rem Koolhaas, 2013

Koolhaas named these pieces “tools” rather than “furniture” to emphasize their status as mechanisms. Seemingly massive and monolithic pieces, like the Casa da Música, which are transformed and displayed. Pieces that are manipulated and transformed by pressing a deliberately visible and industrial red button. In this way, Koolhaas “tools” can accommodate different functions and thus also modify the character of the space in which they are located.

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