give me toilet architecture or give me death

Professor Yu is going to be taking alot of shit for a while for thinking Rem Koolhaas should apologise for the Beijing CCTV building, and bagging him and other western architects for not coming to China as teachers.

His whining, which makes him sound like a spoilt brat who didn’t get picked to hang with the cool kids at school is accompanying his unsuccessful attempts to hawk more work for himself as a Beijing architect. Coming after the 中国国际建筑艺术双年展 1st Architecture Biennale – Beijing, his shrill self-aggrandisement, and parochial reference to 5000 years of Chinese history is dissembling to the real and critical issues of architecture and town planning in China at the moment.

Yu also makes no mention of Koolhaas’s work in Beijing in 2002 to preserve the heritage of the city’s hutongs. In short, he’s a wanker, and the writers of the article should use spellcheck. It’s Koolhaas, not Kohlhaas.

Yu in 2004:

The famous Western architects –Kohlhaas, Andrews –have to make a decision.They must know that a building is inappropriate for China, but they also must come up with the most outrageous design or they won’t win the contract. So they are asked to choose –money and fame or a responsible attitude.

[…]

Of course, Kohlhaas was asked to build this, and I don’t want to criticize his talent if he hadn’t taken the contract, maybe some worse architect would have. But when Einstein developed nuclear power, he sent out a message when he admitted his regret I would like to see Kohlhaas set this example to other architects and planners in China and admit the building is unsuitable for Beijing.

Koolhaas in 2002:

Ensuring that Beijing’s residents have visible evidence of how their city has evolved, Koolhaas asserts, is a necessary counterpoint to his forward-looking building designs. “I find it very important that we don’t do hit-and-run projects,” he says. “I don’t want to be a carpetbagger. Westerners have really been, in a certain way, exploitative. They use the opportunities but they don’t really think about the impact. We’re trying to engage in a kind of systematic investigation of what—in the current circumstances and with the current economy—would be a plausible repertoire of urban forms. I think you can invent new forms that are about street life. That’s what interests me: to maintain the specificity of this city.”