Rapid room-temperature synthesis of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) is highly desired for industrial implementation and commercialization. Here we find that a (Zn,Cu) hydroxy double salt (HDS) intermediate formed in situ from ZnO particles or thin films enables rapid growth (<1 min) of HKUST-1 (Cu3(BTC)2) at room temperature. The space-time-yield reaches >3 × 104 kg·m–3·d–1, at least 1 order of magnitude greater than any prior report. The high anion exchange rate of (Zn,Cu) hydroxy nitrate HDS drives the ultrafast MOF formation. Similarly, we obtained Cu-BDC, ZIF-8, and IRMOF-3 structures from HDSs, demonstrating synthetic generality. Using ZnO thin films deposited via atomic layer deposition, MOF patterns are obtained on pre-patterned surfaces, and dense HKUST-1 coatings are grown onto various form factors, including polymer spheres, silicon wafers, and fibers. Breakthrough tests show that the MOF-functionalized fibers have high adsorption capacity for toxic gases. This rapid synthesis route is also promising for new MOF-based composite materials and applications.