Koolhaas: That's our dirty secret. We architects are celebrated as heroes -- but humiliation is part of our daily lives. The biggest part of our work for competitions and bid invitations disappears automatically. No other profession would accept such conditions. But you can't look at these designs as waste. They're ideas; they will survive in books.
SPIEGEL: A few years ago, you unveiled a spectacular design for a science museum here in HafenCity, the so-called Science Center. It still hasn't been built.
Koolhaas: I haven't heard anything about it in a long time.
SPIEGEL: How long did you work on the design?
Koolhaas: Maybe three years.
SPIEGEL: And then?
Koolhaas: Then, we suddenly stopped hearing anything. We couldn't reach anybody anymore. The last thing we heard was that a young woman was trying to turn our design for a museum into a residential building.
SPIEGEL: Is that sort of thing normal?
Koolhaas: Very typical. You get to a point where you have nothing to say to each other anymore. The funding is frozen, the project is in a holding pattern, and both sides gradually lose interest.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
"We architects are celebrated as heroes -- but humiliation is part of our daily lives."