Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Architecture of Star Wars: a List of Favorites

"The Architecture of Star Wars"
Sebastian J, ArchDaily (June 16, 2009)

"Many of us, long before we even knew about architecture[,] dreamed about a fantastic world in a galaxy far far away. Nowadays, Star Wars continue to surprise people all around the world, and we can now see the movie with a different eye. Perhaps, the architect's eye.

"At The Architect's Journal, they selected the best Star Wars buildings. The top ten, after the break...."

"...4. CORUSCANT, THE WHOLE THING. Like adding New York to Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, then squaring the result. The capital of the Old Republic takes urban sprawl to the extreme and realises the vision of Greek City planner Constantinos Doxiadis of an ecumeonpolis: a single city that covers the whole of a planet. The 'New Architecture' style common to the Senate Area of Coruscant is characterised by Manhattan-like skyscrapers nestled among blade-thin obelisks that resemble the soaring minarets of Cairo...."

Each of the countdown's 10 items has a picture - some of which look like clips from the Star Wars movies. It's mostly fun, but the Lemming thinks Sebastian J made an important point with that first sentence. It's likely that some architects got interested in that field after going 'wow!' during a Star Wars movie. Or seeing a warehouse getting built.

It's a huge stretch to call the Star Wars movies 'inspirational:' but the Lemming thinks it's okay for folks to let their imaginations get fired up by shows like that.

"Ecumenopolis?"

Here's what Wikipedia says about the word: "Ecumenopolis (from Greek: οικουμένη, meaning world, and πόλις (polis) meaning city, thus a city made of the whole world; pl. ecumenopolises or ecumenopoleis) is a word invented in 1967 by the Greek city planner Constantinos Doxiadis to represent the idea that in the future urban areas and megalopolises would eventually fuse and there would be a single continuous worldwide city as a progression from the current urbanization and population growth trends...."

It's a cool idea, and one that's been a science fiction staple for generations. We've got something that's almost like part of an ecumenopolis today: the stretch of urbanized land between Washington, D.C., and New York City, on North America's east coast. A word for real-world analogs to Isaac Asimov's Trantor, or Lucas's Coruscant, is "megalopolis." That's "a very large urban complex (usually involving several cities and towns)." (Princeton's WordNet) There's one on the east coast of North America, running from around Boston to Washington, D.C..

The Lemming's discussed whacking great cities in science fiction, in another blog:What Star Wars' architecture has going for it is partly that it borrows from more-or-less familiar science fiction art of the 20th century - and that someone saw to it that structures in the movies looked like someone might actually be able to use them.

And that's another topic.

Not-entirely-unrelated posts:

4 comments:

John Terry said...
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John Terry said...
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John Terry said...




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John Terry said...



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