Architecture on Film: REM

A symphonic yet intimate journey around the world with Rem Koolhaas, reflecting upon his career, projects and philosophy through the architect’s eyes and words.


06:30pm, Wednesday, 17 January 2018


02:30pm, Saturday, 20 January 2018


Cinema 1
Barbican Centre, Level -2
Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS


This film is screening twice:

Wednesday 17 January, 6.30pm [SOLD OUT]

Saturday 20 January, 2.30pm [Extra screening]


O.M.A Rem Koolhaas + REM:
£16 (subject to availability)

AF Members:
£10.00 (Please contact AF for promotional discount code)


Young Barbican:

Tel (9am-8pm):
+44 (0)20 7638 8891

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Architecture on Film: Rem Koolhaas

A unique opportunity to view two portraits of architect Rem Koolhaas. Separated by 30 years, together the films – O.M.A. Rem Koolhaas (Netherlands, 1985, Jef Cornelis, 76 mins) and REM (USA, 2016, Tomas Koolhaas, 75 mins) – provide an intimate insight into the breadth of the architect’s influential and celebrated career, guiding us through his thinking and projects in his own words.

A limited number of specially priced combined-tickets (£16) are available for the viewing of both screenings, O.M.A. Rem Koolhaas and REM. The discounted price will automatically be given at the checkout, when booking tickets for both screenings at the same time.


A simultaneously symphonic and intimate journey around the world with Rem Koolhaas, reflecting upon his career, projects and philosophy. Structured through quotes from the architect and a soaring orchestral score from composer Murray Hidary, Rem narrates the film in an almost unbroken monologue, taking in topics including the ritual of swimming, the influence of New York City, the media, construction, his curation of the 2014 Venice Biennale, current research on the countryside and more. 

OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu adds his thoughts, as do the inhabitants of the Maison à Bordeaux (1998) and Villa dall'Ava (1991), and two users of the Seattle Library. The camera moves through buildings in use or under construction attesting to architecture as a living organism, and trails the forever-traveling architect from behind, seeking to allow us to see the world through his eyes.
Koolhaas if often cited as the world’s greatest living architect. He’s undoubtedly one of architecture’s most original thinkers, and has long been the subject of intense media scrutiny – his complex relationship to his own celebrity offers one of the film’s most interesting moments. Rem is a man verging on a myth. REM, created over four years by the architect’s son, Tomas Koolhaas, pays homage to this mythology and constructs a cinematic biographical companion to help explain and frame it.

USA, 2016, Tomas Koolhaas, 75 mins

Listen to director Tomas Koolhaas talk about his five year process of making REM, on the Barbican Film podcast.