Koolhaas, Two Ways

© Platon/Trunk Archive

Two projects from architect Rem Koolhaas open soon in Milan and Moscow.

More than any other figure in contemporary design, the Dutch-born visionary Rem Koolhaas—whose firm, Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), currently boasts six locations on three continents—is responsible for giving 21st-century architecture its hyperactive verve. For years, he did it with his creative ideas and offbeat books. But just over the last decade or so, he has begun to do it with actual buildings, a transformation that continues this year with two major new projects. Set to open in June, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, in Moscow, is the brainchild of Dasha Zhukova, Russia’s premier cultural philanthropist and the wife of Roman Abramovich, the country’s 12th richest man. The museum, located in Gorky Park (also extensively renovated by the couple), will pack an old Soviet-era structure with new event spaces, galleries, and more.

And then there’s the May opening of the Fondazione Prada, in Milan, an 118,000-square-foot hub 
for art and culture complete with a bar designed by The Grand Budapest Hotel director Wes Anderson. As with the OMA-designed Manhattan location of the famed fashion brand, both the new Prada space and the Moscow museum seem almost to overflow with their own programs, a sort of over-the-top functionalism that’s become Koolhaas’s hallmark.