Darryl Chen, 09 10 08


On a street of love hotels in Osaka, the Don Quijote building presents the idea of ‘facade as amusement park ride’, in so doing, referencing the room compartments of capsule hotels and indeed the capsulized love within pay-per-hour hotels.

The ferris wheel seems like an emblem of faux nostalgic (and peculiarly authentic) urban entertainment making it the necessary embellishment to skylines from Tokyo to Fukuoka. 

In an age where popular and networked media merge our public and private faces, the building facade (publicity rote at the urban scale) becomes an outward expression of repressed desire – a childish innocence that gains currency within a spectacle-centred society only to become corrupted within the realities of the city. Like the tabloid scoop, or the bride stripped bare, some things were meant to be kept secret. But how good it is to see it anyway…. We are not looking at a postmodern whim of an architecture machine gone haywire. We are really staring with wide-eyed awe into our own perverted innocence.


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