ARCHILIFE: Hollywood Stars Chill Out in Modernist Masterpieces

01:00 - 11 November, 2014
Courtesy of Federico Babina
Courtesy of Federico Babina

Federico Babina is back, this time bringing some cinematic life to the world's most well known modernist interiors with ARCHILIFE. "I have never liked the lack of life in the architectural representations that are often aseptic, clean and neutral," explains Babina. "I often enjoy imagining what life would be like in these static images."

The images show history's most famous film stars living out their daily routines in some of our favorite homes, bringing "the banality of everyday life" to these myths of both Architecture and Cinema. "We are used to perceiving and reading architecture as a set of almost metaphysical spaces. In a similar way we see the actors as characters and not as people," he says. "I wanted to try to reverse these patterns: to transform the interior into 'houses' and the actors into 'people'."

From Marilyn and Mies to Caine and Kahn, the stars get a home to match their temperament, in which to relax, watch TV, meditate - and yes, to clean and tidy too.

See the full set of 17 ARCHILIFE images after the break - and just in case you missed them, check out Federico Babina‘s other popular illustration sets: ARCHIWINDOWARTISTECTARCHISET, ARCHIMACHINE, ARCHIPORTRAITARCHISTARCHIBET and ARCHICINE.

Courtesy of Federico Babina Courtesy of Federico Babina Courtesy of Federico Babina Courtesy of Federico Babina +17

'Cathedrals of Culture' Proves To Be "Limited" & "Internalised"

00:00 - 1 October, 2014
Wim Wenders. Image ©  European Parliament / Pietro Naj-Oleari, 2010
Wim Wenders. Image © European Parliament / Pietro Naj-Oleari, 2010

The highly anticipated 3D film series Cathedrals of Culture has now opened around the world. Directed by Wim Wenders and a team of five other acclaimed directors (Robert Redford, Michael Glawogger, Michael Madsen, Margreth Olin and Karim Aïnouz), the collection - according to The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright - "feels more like a series of vapid promotional videos." Arguing that in most of the films (with the exception of Michael Madsen's) the narrative is lost in favour of cinematic shots, "Cathedrals of Culture presents a limited and internalised view of what architecture is, a fault perhaps driven by the obsession with the 3D camera. [...] It has a self-satisfied, sometimes cultish, air that makes you feel like you’re taking part in some collective brainwashing exercise." Wainwright concludes that Living Architectures is the best place to go. See some of their films featured in ArchDaily's 40 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2014.

ArchDaily's Most Useful Articles of All Time

00:00 - 8 September, 2014

As summer draws to an end and we enter into the last quarter of 2014, we decided to round-up a selection of the most useful articles we've published over the past three years. Ranging from The 40 Architecture Documentaries to Watch in 2014 to The 10 Most Overlooked Women in Architectural History, we've also brought together app guides, career tips, and city guides. Alongside links to open-source CAD files and cut-out people, we've also featured book recommendations, study tips, and links to our complete coverage of some of the world's major architectural events and prizes. Delve into our collection and discover what our readers have found most useful!

Video: Los Angeles from Above

00:00 - 25 July, 2014

This time-lapse video, entitled "Above LA," is Chris Pritchard's love letter to Los Angeles. Filmed over the course of two years, Pritchard sought out locations to showcase the city in a way people rarely get to see  from above. Some of the views were easy to seek out, while others involved some exploratory hiking and trespassing. He encourages "everyone - lifelong Angelenos, transplants, visitors - to hit the trails, drive the mountain roads, find a reason to get on top of a high-rise. From the basin to the valley, this city offers so many opportunities to rise above and look down. Never stop exploring."

Video: Inside Steven Holl's Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art

00:00 - 23 July, 2014

Steven Holl Architects, in collaboration with Spirit of Space, have created two short films of the recently completed Seona Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art. The film series explores the complementary contrast of the new Reid Building and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1909 building (which recently suffered a devastating fire), where "each work of architecture heightens the integral qualities of the other."

The first film takes the viewers on a "poetic climb" up and through the building's social circuit, which "purposefully encourages inter-disciplinary activity, with the hope to inspire positive energy for the future of art." The second film unpacks the design of the Reid Building in a conversation with design architects Steven Holl and Chris McVoy.

Video: The Spatial Diagramming of Spike Jonze's "Her"

00:00 - 6 July, 2014

Every month, INTERIORS Journal analyzes and diagrams the spaces in various films, producing detailed plans for our viewing pleasure. But have you ever wondered just how they do it? If you have, check out their short video on making the plan from Spike Jonze's feature film Her above.

HR Giger, Swiss Architect & Visual Mind Behind "Alien," Dies

00:00 - 13 May, 2014
MUSEUM HR GIGER BAR in Château St. Germain, Gruyères, Switzerland. Image © Richard McMullen / flickr user johnleespider
MUSEUM HR GIGER BAR in Château St. Germain, Gruyères, Switzerland. Image © Richard McMullen / flickr user johnleespider

HR Giger, the Swiss artist and designer who inspired and helped craft the visuals for the Ridley Scott film Alien, has died at the age of 74, The Guardian reports. Although he studied architecture and industrial design in Zurich, Giger never entered the profession, but used his spatial know-how to help design dark interiors in both the real and cinematic worlds.

INTERIORS: True Detective

00:00 - 8 April, 2014
Courtesy of INTERIORS Journal
Courtesy of INTERIORS Journal

Interiors is an online film and architecture journal, published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen KaraoghlanianInteriors runs an exclusive column for ArchDaily that analyzes and diagrams films in terms of space. Their Official Store will carry exclusive prints from these posts.

The first season of Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, the product of creator/writer Nic Pizzolatto and director Cary Fukunaga, focuses on Detective Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Detective Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) as they search for clues on a grisly murder case. The series takes place in Louisiana in three distinct time periods; 1995, 2002 and 2012. Each time period has a distinct look, as characters and their surroundings change and evolve over time. 

Cary Fukunaga, who comes from feature films such as Sin Nombre (2009) and Jane Eyre (2011), has always employed a distinct visual style in his work. In The Guardian, he discussed his approach to the direction of the show, noting that “one of my priorities as director was to defend craft despite the constraints on my time and budget.” In addition, he notes that he looked for specific moments in which he would treat the visual side of the medium with the same importance as the dialogue.

In the fourth episode, “Who Goes There,” he does just that, as he employs a lengthy, complex shot that brings the audience closer to the characters’ experience. This edition of INTERIORS will spatially break down that shot, revealing just how complex it was. 

The Eileen Gray Movie: E1027, Insidious Chauvinism, and "The Price of Desire"

00:00 - 8 March, 2014

In a public interview, director Mary McGuckian speaks with Shane O'Toole of DoCoMoMo Ireland about her soon-to-be-released film, "The Price of Desire," a biopic about the influential Irish modernist Eileen Gray - narrated from the perspective of Le Corbusier, no less. McGuckian explains how the film and the extensive research behind it went far beyond the usual remit of a biopic. Indeed, not only did it spawn an accompanying documentary ("Gray Matters", directed by Marco Orsini) and book, it even played a pivotal role in the restoration of E1027, Gray's seminal house design, to a point where it was possible to film on location.

Steve McQueen: A Master of Architecture in Film

00:00 - 5 March, 2014
Plantation in "12 Years a Slave". Image Courtesy of indienyc.com
Plantation in "12 Years a Slave". Image Courtesy of indienyc.com

"In a career that is still taking shape, the 44-year-old McQueen has already done more to make me rethink the relationship between the built environment and the camera than almost anybody in Hollywood." So says Christopher Hawthorne in his latest for the LA Times, where he examines the body of work of Steve McQueen - the director of Hunger, Shame, and the Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave - and explores how McQueen "takes up architectural symbols in a sustained and strategic way." Read the fascinating article at the LA Times.

INTERIORS: Her

00:00 - 26 February, 2014
Courtesy of INTERIORS Journal
Courtesy of INTERIORS Journal

Interiors is an online film and architecture journal published by Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen KaraoghlanianInteriors runs an exclusive column for ArchDaily that analyzes and diagrams films in terms of space. Their Official Store will carry exclusive prints from these posts.

Spike Jonze’s fourth feature film, and his fourth feature film collaboration with production designer K.K. Barrett, creates a future world that is both intimate and immersive.

Her (2013), which was filmed in Los Angeles and Shanghai, uses the architecture of both cities to construct a world of its own. Jonze and Barrett, however, chose not to approach the film from a design or architectural perspective; rather, they were interested in reflecting the emotional qualities of their protagonist Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) through the production design. Barrett points out that although the future feels distant and foreign for us, “The future is also someone’s present, our character’s present.” Thus, science fiction elements are grounded in reality, and the future world of Her was designed with those ideas in mind.

In an exclusive interview with Interiors, K.K. Barrett discussed his approach as an artist to both the medium of cinema in general and Her in particular. Learn more after the break. 

The Best Future Cities Presented on Film

00:00 - 16 February, 2014
A still from "Metropolis", perhaps the archetypal futuristic city film. Image
A still from "Metropolis", perhaps the archetypal futuristic city film. Image

From 1927's Metropolis to 2002's Minority Report, this article on the Guardian Cities explores film's futuristic cities - utopias, dystopias, and those somewhere in-between - and asks: which of these cities would be safest? Most suited to under-30s? The best to live in? You can find out by reading the article here.

ARCHISET: An Illustrated Tribute to the Interiors of Classic Cinema

00:00 - 14 February, 2014
Courtesy of Federico Babina
Courtesy of Federico Babina

Federico Babina has surprised us several times with his artistic work, from his "pixelated" versions of iconic characters (Parts 1 and 2) of architecture to his illustrations of architectural landmarks in the history of cinema. This time, the architect and illustrator delights us again with a new series entitled ARCHISET, which presents the sets of some of the most memorable scenes from classic films.

The series consists of 17 illustrations, cross-sections presenting the interior design and characters in films such as "A Clockwork Orange" by Stanley Kubrick, "All About My Mother" by Spanish Director Pedro Almodovar, and "Vertigo" by the master, Hitchcock.

Check out the full series, after the break.

INTERIORS: The Monthly Zine Mapping Film's Fascinating Spaces

01:00 - 9 February, 2014
Panic Room, Issue 1. Image Courtesy of Interiors Journal
Panic Room, Issue 1. Image Courtesy of Interiors Journal

Originally appearing on Metropolis as A Pair of Artists Use Architecture to Study Film, Colin Warren-Hicks profiles "Interiors", a monthly zine that analyzes important spaces in Films and TV through reconstructed architectural plans - and whose creators also contribute to Archdaily on a monthly basis

Can a good film director be a good architect? That's the premise behind Interiors, a monthly online zine that critically investigates the link between film and architecture. Each issue breaks down, in architectural notation, a memorable set or scene from a movie or television series. (Lately, the subjects have expanded to include a Justin Timberlake music video and even a stage from Kanye West's Yeezus tour.) The diagrams are accompanied by a lengthy essay that supplements the spatial analysis.

Read more about "Interiors" - and see a collection of plans produced for the journal - after the break

Up, Issue 15. Image Courtesy of Interiors Journal Dial M for Murder, Issue 22. Image Courtesy of Interiors Journal Le mépris (Contempt), Issue 2. Image Courtesy of Interiors Journal Psycho, Issue 10. Compare the floor of Room 1 of the Bates Motel with that found in Steven Jacobs's book, The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock. Image Courtesy of Interiors Journal +10

In "Her," A Hopeful Vision for LA's Future

00:00 - 2 February, 2014
LA's Future Subway System, as depicted in Spike Jonze's "Her". Image © Geoff McFetridge and Untitled Rick Howard Company LLC, via The Atlantic Cities
LA's Future Subway System, as depicted in Spike Jonze's "Her". Image © Geoff McFetridge and Untitled Rick Howard Company LLC, via The Atlantic Cities

In his review of Spike Jonze's movie "Her", LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne explains a rather comforting aspect of the movie: instead of the dystopia that usually characterizes films set in the future, "Her" is set in a future version of LA which is more dense, has better public transport (with a subway map with a story all of its own) and has managed to overcome its dependence on the car. No wonder this film has touched a chord with architects and urban designers. Read the full review here.

The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock

00:00 - 24 January, 2014
Hitchcock on the set of Rope, with actors Jimmy Steward, John Dall, and Farley Granger. Image Courtesy of nai010 publishers
Hitchcock on the set of Rope, with actors Jimmy Steward, John Dall, and Farley Granger. Image Courtesy of nai010 publishers

Originally appearing in Metropolis Magazine as "Hitchcock and the Architecture of Suspense," this article by Samuel Medina reviews Steven Jacobs' book The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock, which uses expert analysis and reconstructed floor plans to examine how the master created suspense with his sets.

In the films of Alfred Hitchcock, things happen, but the events that gave rise to them are easily forgotten. You quickly forget how A leads to B or, say, by what elaborate means Roger Thornhill ends up at Mt. Rushmore in North by Northwest. But as the French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard observed, the Hitchcockian cinema compels not with story, but with images—the open-palmed hand reaching for the door, the simulated fall down the staircase, the whorling retreat of the camera from a dead woman’s face. These stark snippets imbue the films with their uncanny allure and imprint themselves in the mind of the spectator much more effectively than any of the master’s convoluted plots.

Read on for more on the role architecture plays in Hitchcock's films

ARCHICINE: Illustrations of Architecture in Film

01:00 - 26 November, 2013
The Big Lebowski. Directed by Joel Coen. Image Courtesy of Federico Babina
The Big Lebowski. Directed by Joel Coen. Image Courtesy of Federico Babina

Federico Babina, the mastermind behind ARCHI-PIX (Parts One and Two) has come up with  a fun new series  - ARCHICINE - representing iconic works of architecture that have played protagonists on film. We've rounded up all the illustrations -check them out after the break!

Mon Oncle. Directed Jacques Tati. Image Courtesy of Federico Babina The Incredibles. Directed by Brad Bird. Image Courtesy of Federico Babina Star Wars. Directed by George Lucas. Image Courtesy of Federico Babina  Body Double. Directed by Brian De Palma . Image Courtesy of Federico Babina +17

Why Do Bad Guys Always Get The Best Houses?

00:00 - 31 October, 2013
The Sheats Goldstein Residence by John Lautner. Image © Jeff Green
The Sheats Goldstein Residence by John Lautner. Image © Jeff Green

In this interesting article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote dissects two Hollywood homes that are infamous as the homes of slick movie bad guys. The Lovell Health House designed by Richard Neutra appeared in LA Confidential as the home of pornographer and pimp Pierce Patchett; the Sheats Goldstein Residence appeared in The Big Lebowski - again as the home of a pornographer - and was designed by none other than "Hollywood's favourite architect" John Lautner. Heathcote probes the two architects' design influences and ideas, and of course offers an explanation as to why ""bad guys always seem to get the best houses". You can read the full article here.