An augmented HTML 5 version of Rem Koolhaas’ Junkspace essay from Junkspace. REM KOOLHAAS. Logan Airport: A World-Class Upgrade for the Twenty-first Century. -Late-Twentieth Century Billboard. Rabbit is the new beef. OMA founder Rem Koolhaas, the seer of Rotterdam, made just one contribution to the Harvard Guide: an essay called Junkspace. In about.

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Because we abhor the utilitarianwe have condemned ourselves to a life-long immersion in arbitrariness The average contemporary lunch box is a microcosm of junkspace: Polarities have become equatorial, nothing left in between. There is nothing between desolation and turmoil, between beauty and koolhazs. If space-junk is the human debris that litters the universe, junk-space is junkspacr residue mankind leaves on the planet. The built more about that later product of modernization is not modern architecture but junkspace.

Junkspace is what remains after modernization has run its course or, more precisely, what coagulates while modernization is in progress, its fall-out. Modernization had a rational program: Junkspace is its apotheosis, koolyaas meltdown Although its individual parts are the outcome of brilliant inventions, lucidly planned by human intelligence, boosted by infinite computation, their sum spells the end of Enlightenmentits resurrection as farce, a low-grade purgatory Junkspace is the sum total of our junspace achievement; we have built more than all previous generations together, but somehow we do not register on the same scales.

We junkpace not leave pyramids. According to a new gospel of ugliness, there is already more junkspace under construction in the 21st century than survived from the 20th It was a mistake to invent modern architecture for the 20th century; architecture disappeared in the 20th century ; we have been reading a footnote under a microscope hoping it would turn into a novel; our concern for the masses has blinded us to People’s Architecture.

Junkspace seems an aberration, but it is essence, the main thing Continuity is the essence of junkspace ; ioolhaas exploits any invention that enables expansion, deploys the infrastructure of seamlessness: It is always interior, so extensive that you rarely perceive limits; it promotes disorientation by any means mirror, polish,echo Junkspace is sealed, held together not by structure, but by skin, like a bubble.

Gravity has remained constant, resisted by the same arsenal since the beginning of time; but air conditioning – invisible medium, therefore unnoticed – has truly revolutionized architecture.

Air conditioning has launched the endless building. If architecture separates buildings, air conditioning unites them. Air conditioning has dictated mutant regimes of organization and coexistence that leave architecture behind. A single shopping center now is the work of generations of space planners, repairmen and fixers, like in the middle ages; air conditioning sustains our kooolhaas. Unwittingly, all architects may be working on the same building, so far separate, but with hidden receptors that will eventually make it cohere.

Because it costs money, is no longer free, conditioned space inevitably becomes conditional space ; sooner or later all conditional space turns into junkspace.

When junspace think about spacewe have only looked at its containers. As if space itself is invisibleall theory for the production of space is based on an obsessive preoccupation with its opposite: Architects could never explain space ; Junkspace is our punishment for their mystifications. OK, let’s talk about space then.


The beauty of airportsespecially after each upgrade. The luster of renovations. The subtlety of the shopping center.

Let’s explore public spacediscover casinosspend time in theme parks Junkspace is the body-double of spacea territory of impaired vision, limited expectation, reduced earnestness. Junkspace is a Bermuda triangle of concepts, a petri dish abandoned: It substitutes hierarchy with accumulation, composition with addition. More and more, more is more.

Junkspace is overripe and undernourishing at the same time, a colossal security blanket that covers the nunkspace in a stranglehold of seduction Junkspace is like being condemned to a perpetual Jacuzzi with millions of your best friends A fuzzy empire of blur, it fuses high and low, public and private, straight and bent, bloated and starved to offer a seamless patchwork of the permanently disjointed.

koolhaas’ Junkspace

Seemingly an apotheosis, spatially grandiose, the effect of its richness is a terminal hollowness, a vicious parody of ambition that systematically erodes the credibility of building, possibly forever Space was created by piling matter on top of matter, cemented to form a solid new whole.

Junkspace is additive, layered and lightweight, not articulated in different parts but subdivided, quartered the way a carcass is torn apart – individual chunks severed from a universal condition. There are no walls, only partitions, shimmering membranes frequently covered in mirror or gold.

Structure groans invisibly underneath decoration, or worse, has become ornamental ; small shiny space frames support nominal loads, or huge beams deliver cyclopic burdens to innocent destinations The arch, once the workhorse of structures, has become the depleted emblem of ‘community’, welcoming an infinity of virtual populations to non-existent there’s.

Where it is absent, it is simply applied – mostly in stucco – as ornamental afterthought on hurriedly erected superblocks. Like a substance that could have condensed in any other form, junkspace is a domain of feigned, simulated order, a kingdom of morphing. Its specific configuration is as furtuitous as the geometry of a snow flake.

interpretation of Koolhaas junkspace | megasstructures

Patterns imply repetition or ultimately decipherable rules; Junkspace is beyond measure, beyond code Because it cannot be grasped, junkspace cannot be remembered.

It is flamboyant yet unmemorable, like a screensaver ; its refusal to freeze insures instant amnesia. Junkspace does not pretend to create perfection, only interest. Its geometries are unimaginable, only makable. Although strictly non-architectural, it tends to the vaulted, to the Dome. Sections seem to be devoted to utter inertness, others in perpetual rhetorical turmoil: Themes cast a pall of arrested development over interiors as big as the Pantheonspawning stillbirths in every corner.

The aesthetic is Byzantinegorgeous and dark, splintered into thousands of shards, all visible at the same time: Murals used to show idols; Junkspace ‘s modules are dimensioned to carry brands; myths can be shared, brands husband aura at the mercy of focus groups.

Brands in junkspace perform the same role as black holes in the universe: The shiniest surfaces in the history of mankind reflect humanity at its most casual. The more we inhabit the palatialthe more we seem to dress down. A stringent dress code – last spasm of etiquette?

Rem Koolhaas. Junkspace

As if the People suddenly accessed the private quarters of a dictator, junkspace is best enjoyed in a state of post-revolutionary gawking. Polarities have merged, there is nothing left between desolation and turmoil. Neon signifies both the old and the new, interiors refer to the stone- and the space age at the same time. Like the deactivated virus in an innoculation, Modern architecture remains essential, but only in its most sterile manifestation, High Tech it seemed so dead only a decade ago!


It exposes what previous generations kept under wraps: Transparency only reveals everything in which you cannot partake. At the sound of midnight it all may revert to Taiwanese Gothicin three junkdpace segue into Nigerian SixtiesNorwegian Chalet or default Christian.

Earthlings now live in a kindergarten grotesque. Junkspace thrives on design, but design dies in junkspace. There is no form, but proliferation Regurgitation is the new creativity; instead of creation, we honor, cherish and embrace manipulation Superstrings of graphics, transplanted emblems of franchise and sparkling infrastructures of lightLED’sand video describe an authorless world beyond anyone’s claim, always unique, utterly unpredictable, yet intensely familiar.

Junkspace koolhaax hot or suddenly artic ; fluorescent walls, folded like melting stained glass, generate additional heat to raise the temperature of junkspace to levels where you could cultivate orchids.

Pretending histories left and right, its contents are dynamic yet stable, recycled or multiplied as in cloning: Junkspace sheds architectures like a reptile sheds skins, is reborn every Monday morning. In previous building, materiality was based on a final state that could only be modified at the expense of partial destruction.

At the exact moment that our culture has abandoned repetition and regularity as repressive, building materials have become more and more modularunitary and standardized; substance now comes predigitized As the module becomes smaller and smaller, its status become that of a crypto-pixel. Klolhaas enormous difficulty – budget, argument, negotiation, deformation – irregularity and uniqueness are constructed from identical elements.

Instead of trying to wrest order from chaos, the picturesque now is wrested from the homogenized, the singular liberated from the standardized. Architects thought of junkspace first and named it Megastructurethe final solution to transcend their huge impasse.

koolhaaw Like multiple Babelshuge superstructures would last through eternity, teeming with impermanent infill that would mutate over time, beyond their control.

In theory, each megastructure would spawn its own sub-systems, and therefore create a universe of rampant cohesion.

In junkspacethe tables are turned: All materialization is provisional: The joint is no longer a problem, an intellectual issue: Each element performs its task in negotiated isolation. Where once detailing suggested the coming together, possibly forever, of disparate materials, it is now a transient coupling, waiting to be undone, unscrewed, a temporary embrace with a high probability of separation; no longer the orchestrated encounter of differencebut the abrupt end of a system, a stalemate.

Only the blind, reading its faultlines with their fingertips, will ever understand junkspace ‘s histories While whole millenia worked in favor of permanenceaxialitiesrelationships and proportionthe program of junkspace is escalation. Instead of development, it offers entropy.

Because it is endless, it always leaks somewhere in junkspace ; in the worst case, monumental ashtrays catch intermittent drops in a grey broth.

When did time stop moving forward Since the introduction of Real Time? Change has been divorced from the idea of improvement. There is no progress; like a crab koolhaaz LSDculture wobbles endlessly sideways