Your Shopping Cart

Your shopping cart is empty!

Discover our bestsellers
Subtotal0 Items0
Go to Shopping Cart

Koolhaas. Elements of Architecture

150Edition: EnglishAvailability: In Stock
This collection is a look through the microscope at the real fundamentals of our buildings, revealing the essential design techniques used by any architect, anywhere, anytime. Conceived by Rem Koolhaas and made with the Harvard Graduate School of Design, it is a primordial toolkit to understanding how seemingly stable elements are actually in constant evolution.
Hardcover7.9 x 10.0 in.7.80 lb2528 pages
“A brilliant and stimulating exploration of the stories behind the most mundane and ubiquitous elements of architecture.”
Financial Times
“Rem Koolhaas explains it all in Elements of Architecture. With examples ranging from the Sydney Opera House to St. Peter’s Basilica, this beautiful book also works as a history of architecture.”
The New York Times
“…when it comes to learning about the differences in architectural evolution, this is the book.”
“A mammoth undertaking: smashing open the last 100 years of architecture and ripping out its innards for forensic analysis.”
The Guardian
“…exhaustive and exhausting, mad and maddening.”
Metropolis Magazine
“A fascinating compendium of cultural references, iconic design, and everyday history that work together to turn architectural theory on its head.”
Architectural Digest
Koolhaas. Elements of Architecture

Koolhaas. Elements of Architecture


Architecture under the microscope

Rem Koolhaas’s essential toolkit to building anatomies

Elements of Architecture focuses on the fragments of the rich and complex architectural collage. Window, façade, balcony, corridor, fireplace, stair, escalator, elevator and toilet: the book seeks to excavate the micro-narratives of building detail. The result is no single history, but rather the web of origins, contaminations, similarities, and differences in architectural evolution, including the influence of technological advances, climatic adaptation, political calculation, economic contexts, regulatory requirements, and new digital opportunities. It’s a guide that is long overdue—in Koolhaas’s own words, “Never was a book more relevant—at a moment where architecture as we know it is changing beyond recognition.”

Derived, updated, and expanded from Koolhaas’s exhaustive and much-lauded exhibition at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, this is an essential toolkit to understanding the fundamentals that comprise structure around the globe. Designed by Irma Boom and based on research from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the 2,600-page monograph contains essays from Rem Koolhaas, Stephan Trueby, James Westcott and Stephan Petermann; interviews with Werner Sobek and Tony Fadell (of Nest); and an exclusive photo essay by Wolfgang Tillmans.

In addition to comprehensively updated texts and new images, this edition is designed and produced to visually (and physically) embody the immense scope of its subject matter:
  • Custom split-spine binding: our printer modified their industrial binding machine to allow for the flexible, eight-centimeter thick spine
  • Contains a new introductory chapter with forewords, table of contents, and an index, located in the middle of the book (where it naturally opens due to its unique spine)
  • Printed on 50g Opakal paper, allowing for the ideal level of opacity needed to realize Boom’s palimpsest-like design
  • Translucent overlays and personal annotations by Koolhaas and Boom are woven in each chapter to create an alternative, faster route through the book
  • Printed at the originally intended 100% size for full readability
The author

Rem Koolhaas is a co-founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Having worked as a journalist and scriptwriter before becoming an architect, in 1978 he published Delirious New York. His 1996 book S,M,L,XL summarized the work of OMA and established connections between contemporary society and architecture. Among many international awards, he has received the Pritzker Prize (2000) and the Praemium Imperiale (2003). 

The designer

Irma Boom is a graphic designer specialized in making books. Since founding Irma Boom Office in 1990, she has worked with the likes of Chanel, the United Nations, OMA/Rem Koolhaas, Fondazione Prada, Pirelli, and Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. She received the Gutenberg Prize and the Johannes Vermeer Prize, the Dutch state prize for the arts, among others. Her work is in a permanent collection of the Design and Architecture Department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Since 1992, Boom is a Senior Critic at Yale University in the USA.

The photographer

Wolfgang Tillmans is regarded as one of the most influential artists of his generation. His diverse body of work–still lifes, portraits, abstract imagery–spans a range of subjects, namely political movements, photographic representation, and subcultures. Today, his work is shown in numerous international museums including the Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou and the Tate and has earned many awards, including the Turner Prize in 2000.

Koolhaas. Elements of Architecture
Hardcover20 x 25.5 cm3.54 kg2528 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-5614-9

Edition: English
Download product images here



4 Ratings

Love it!

Dominik,October 27, 2021
This is an amazing addition to my library. The book has so much detail covering all the elements of the building. The book covers, history, details and reasons for each element and how they developed.

A must have for enthusiast

Giuliano,October 27, 2021
Whether you are an architect or an architecture enthusiast this book needs to be on your library! Every single aspect of the architecture field is well described and full of technical data. Really interesting.

Schönes Nachschlagewerk

Tim,December 27, 2021
Das Buch ist ein fantastisches Nachschlagewerk und erklärt die wichtigsten Elemente der Architektur sehr tiefgründig. Leider ist der Einband nicht so stabil wie ich es von anderen Büchern des Verlags gewöhnt bin und zeigte schon schnell Abnutzungsspuren.

Must have für Architektur- und Designinteressierte

Martin,October 29, 2021
Dieses Buch ist ein wahrer Koloss voller Wissen. Durch alle Epochen der Menschheitsgeschichte für Architektur analytisch zerlegt und in wichtige Meilensteine aufgetrennt. Gegliedert in wichtige Bestandteile der Architektur wie Treppe, Feuerstelle, Schräge werden viele interessante Details dargelegt. Wichtige Vertreter bestimmter Architekturströmungen werden vorgestellt und werden mit einer Fülle von Fakten untermauert. Sehr empfehlenswertes Werk und auch optisch und haptisch unglaublich.