Koolhaas first analyses the brief and comes up with a strategy for organising the
programme. Then they look together at the kind of spaces they want to make and how the structure might work. Balmond uses the word “configuration” a lot — a loose term that seems to mean the patterns, lines and surfaces that define space. Only once they have a configuration of pro-gramme and space do they consider what materials might be used to build it. Each decision feeds back into the earlier decisions and the project slowly solidifies.