The Dutch state prize for the arts, the Johannes Vermeer Award
, has been awarded this year to architect and writer Rem Koolhaas. The jury made a unanimous decision, citing Koolhaass critical contributions to architecture and urbanism since his career began with the publication of Delirious New York in 1975. The Minister of Culture, Jet Bussemaker, presented the prize to Koolhaas on Monday 21 October at the recently re-opened Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
The jury of the Johannes Vermeer Award 2013 commended Rem Koolhaas for his impressive body of work as a designer and a thinker, as well as his contribution to the discourse on cities, in particular his innovative practice in areas with rapidly growing populations and economies. The jury also admired Koolhaas exceptional energy, which allows him and his office OMA to continuously seek and invent possibilities to shape the built environment.
The Johannes Vermeer Award was established in 2009, when the award went to opera director Pierre Audi, and has subsequently been awarded to filmmaker, writer and artist Alex van Warmerdam (2010), photographer Erwin Olaf (2011), and artist Marlene Dumas (2012). The award was instituted in 2008 by the then Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ronald Plasterk (PvdA), with the ambition of honouring and encouraging outstanding artistic talent. The award consists of a sum of 100,000 euros, mainly to be used for the realisation of a special project. The award is intended for artists working in the Netherlands and across all disciplines, ranging from dance to design, from fashion to music, from writing to painting.