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books

Rem Koolhaas

THE IRONY OF Rem Koolhaas’s monumental 1995 S, M, L, XL was the relative paucity of the architect’s realized work in any of those sizes. The book had a mirror-world quality, as though the former journalist, waiting for the accrual of his reputation and for a favorable economy, were anticipatorily remaking the world in print (and blueprint). S, M, L, XL dwarfed the tomes of many a more-built architect. It’s as if the book were the building.

Eight years on, Koolhaas’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has found itself with an expanding global portfolio of built works, so it’s with a whiff of whimsy that Content, a “product of the moment,” should be presented not as a coffee-table paean to their constructions but as a “dense, cheap, disposable” pulp novel/magazine that’s bound to give bookstore clerks filing paralysis. The hijinks begin straightaway: It’s not merely that the first

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