In this file picture taken Wednesday, June 4, 2014, the curator of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas poses at the exhibition in Venice, Italy. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, file)
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In an era of "starchitects," Rem Koolhaas, who merits mention as one himself, wants to strip the discipline to its barest elements, bypassing the cult of personality and any architectural grandiosity.Koolhaas had no time to waste as he hurriedly but efficiently guided visitors through a one-hour tour of his exhibit "Elements of Architecture" shortly before it opened here last weekend as part of the Venice Biennale's 14th International Architecture Exhibit. The exhibit covers nothing less than architecture's evolution from homo erectus' first man-made fire to heating fixtures of the future, focusing on the plainer elements: ceilings unnoticed overhead; corridors too quickly bypassed; those overlooked conveyances, elevators.In preparing for the Biennale, Koolhaas seemed thrilled to have found kindred spirits taken with the fundamentals of the architecture that surrounds us daily, such as a German professor's thesis on the corridor and an Italian scholar's study of false ceilings.Inside the Central Pavilion, his first stop is the ceiling.
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