In an age where almost every conceivable subject has spawned its own reality series - be it Dancing On Ice or Hillbilly-Hand-Fishing - PBS's new show, Cool Spaces!, aims to stimulate the public's curiosity by engaging us in the story behind some of North America's most interesting public buildings. The AIA sponsored show, which is hosted by Boston-based architect Stephen Chung, departs from usual architecture-related television shows, which tend to focus on makeovers of private homes. Not only will this show look at public buildings, but it will also examine the people who's lives it has affected, the places that have shaped it, and the mind of the architect who brought all of these things together to design it.
Read more about the series and see a sneak preview after the break...
Speaking about the show Chung said, "Architecture is when someone's able to combine art and purpose, and make it meaningful. We want to meet the owners, the architects, the clients, the characters behind this great stuff... I think most people out there think that architecture is a dry and academic topic, and I'm here to say it's not, actually architecture is pretty cool, and I want to show it to you."
In the 'sizzle' reel - that's promo, for us lay-people - a bouncy Chung talks about the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, designed by Frank Gehry (Bonus points for anyone who spots the nod to The Simpsons). Chung mentioned that it wasn't just the building itself, but rather the story behind it that grabbed their attention. Lou Ruvo was inspired to bring a world-class Alzheimer's clinic to Las Vegas, after losing his father to the disease. In the reel, you will learn the story and see glimpses of Chung exploring the less-seen side of Las Vegas.
While filming, he talked about how he was fascinated by the 'back-room' neighborhoods that service the fantasy of downtown Vegas; particularly how redevelopment, like the Clinic, was trying to improve the lives of the people who live and work there.
Cool Spaces will be screened in thirteen hour-long episodes and should be on television sets by this autumn.