Rem Koolhaas, Tunisia, and Sandcrawlers

It would appear that the Star Wars Universe owes another debt to architecture. A reader sent in the above image with a note saying that the Hotel du Lac in Tunisia may have served as the inspiration for the Sandcrawlers used by the Jawas to travel across Tatooine. Another visit to Wookiepedia (an increasingly important Life Without Buildings resource) tells us that filming for A New Hope largely took place in Tunisia, so it’s entirely possible that this building did, in fact, have an influence on the production design. BONUS: a little trivia for you Extended Universe fans — “du Lac” was the origin of the “Dulok,” the natural enemies of the Ewoks. But wait, there’s more!

The form of the Sandcrawler also brought to mind a more contemporary building — the Casa da Musica. Admittedly, this one is a bit of a stretch, as the Rem Koolhaas-designed building, really only resembles the dessert-planet vehicle from one angle. Plus, we know that it was based on an unbuilt design for a private residence — hence the name. But is it possible that somewhere in the inner workings of Koolhaas’ mind, there exists some subconscious collection pond of sci-fi culture that gets channeled into his designs? Surely, the origins of Louisville’s Museum Plaza must be extra-terrestrial in nature.

And finally, just for good measure, Life Without Buildings would like to present the second in a series of architects thinking about spaceships: Koolhaas considers the Sandcrawler.


see also:
&#183 Otto Wagner and the Millenium Falcon [LWB]
&#183 What’s Up With All The Death Stars? [LWB]
&#183 Adaptive Reuse of Crashed Starships [LWB]
&#183 Future Megastructures and Starship Breaking [LWB]

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Jimmy Stamp

Jimmy Stamp is a freelance writer, researcher, and recovering architect. He has contributed to The Guardian, Wired, Smithsonian, The Journal of Architectural Education, and many other websites and publications. His first book Pedagogy and Place: 100 Years of Architecture Education at Yale comes out in spring 2016. If you need a writer with a penchant for Piranesi and pop culture, or if you just want to say hi, you can find him on twitter @LifeSansBldgs or email him at jamestamp@gmail.com

6 thoughts on “Rem Koolhaas, Tunisia, and Sandcrawlers”

  1. The architecture concept is really imagine. Thanks for your post and also for sharing the pictures. I will hope that you will post more interesting post like this. Thanks!

  2. I’m so tired of this school of modern architecture. Impress us with cost efficacy, function and environmentalism — not more endless combinations of non-right-angled geometry. ( nice pop-culture references, aside).

    This crap is purely ego driven on both the client-side and architect-side — and it’s one more example of excess liquidity sloshing around the world.

    Of course, Rem and the gang always have a handy “no, but this is still Bauhaus” justfication of their design vis a vis functionality — which is invariably a bullsh*t ex-post-facto justification of their creative masturbation.

    This stuff is such a yawn. And so is Rem.

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