Note — Feb 16, 2020

‘The Countryside Is Where the Radical Changes Are’: Rem Koolhaas Goes Rural

Seen in → No.113

Source →

On the one hand, Koolhaas sounds a bit like someone who’s always lived in a city, rents a cabin, and says something like “Duuuuude! Nature, man!” On the other, the article is written by Oliver Wainwrigh who does call some of the architect’s bullshit. Still an interesting read for the part on the massive industrial park in Nevada, and this “new” architecture centered on the machines within. (Honestly, there are so many caveats to this work that I hesitated to include it but I feel the parallel with the other piece above is interesting to note.)

This is the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC), the largest industrial park in the world, a 107,000-acre swath of the Nevada desert that has become the backroom for Silicon Valley’s big tech companies, lured here by the favourable tax regime and instant building permits. […]

“A world formerly dictated by the seasons and the organisation of agriculture,” he writes, “is now a toxic mix of genetic experiment, science, industrial nostalgia, seasonal immigration, territorial buying sprees, massive subsidies, incidental inhabitation, tax incentives, investment, political turmoil – in other words more volatile than the most accelerated city.” […]

Another research assistant is frank: “It’s symptomatic of architectural hubris that they take snapshots of a topic like this and present it to the world as ‘new’.”