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Architecture Documentaries To Watch In 2017

07:00 - 29 December, 2016

Following our favorite Architecture Documentaries to Watch in 2015, our top 40 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2014, and our choice 30 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2013, we're looking ahead to 2017! Our latest round up presents a collection of the most critically acclaimed, popular and often under-represented films and documentaries that provoke, intrigue, inform and beguile. From biopics of Eero Saarinen, Frei Otto and Laurie Baker, to presentations of Chinese "palaces" and the architecture of Africa, Cambodia and India, these are our top picks.

Watch Bêka and Lemoine's "The Infinite Happiness" – a Documentary Film on BIG's "8 House"

13:00 - 2 December, 2016

Update: following the screening period The Infinite Happiness is no longer available to watch on ArchDaily. The full collection of Bêka and Lemoine's films can be viewed on demand, here.

For two days only—between Friday, December 2 and Sunday, December 4—you can watch The Infinite Happiness, part of Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine's Living Architectures series, exclusively on ArchDaily. The film, shot entirely in Copenhagen's "8 House" designed by BIG, follows a group of residents (and passers-by) as they experience life in a contemporary housing block widely considered to embody new models of living.

Mapped Movies: The Architecture and Settings Behind Film's Greatest Moments

09:30 - 21 October, 2016
Mapped Movies: The Architecture and Settings Behind Film's Greatest Moments, © Unsplash user Noom Peerapong. Licensed under CC0.
© Unsplash user Noom Peerapong. Licensed under CC0.

Stories have a way of clinging to places, charging buildings and spaces with an effect only perceptible to those who know what they once staged. Film is the most visual storytelling medium, and their environments often play memorable and vital roles in creating the movie's character and identity. The popularity of film tourism is testament to this phenomena. While the bulk of film tourism stems from blockbuster movies and their exposure and celebrity, the blog Filmap takes a more humble approach in highlighting the stories of everyday places.

For the past three years, the blog has laboriously tracked the locations of hundreds of movie scenes using Google Streetview, pairing stripped-back street views right next to their cinematographic counterparts. The resulting contrast elevates the everyday while also grounding fiction to our very streets, a reminder of the built environment’s role as a vessel of imagination.

A selection of Filmap’s posts are shared below – how many movies can you recognize from their real-life settings alone?

Buildings vs. Movies: Comparing Budgets of Blockbusters and Notable Architecture Projects

12:45 - 2 September, 2016
Buildings vs. Movies: Comparing Budgets of Blockbusters and Notable Architecture Projects

When it comes to expensive artforms, architecture undoubtedly tops the list (even if the artistic merits of some of the absolute priciest buildings are sometimes dubious). But what may not be so obvious is that many of architecture’s iconic works have been completed on budgets not so dissimilar to the work of another artistic industry: filmmaking. Each with their own set of merits, works from both categories have transcended time, confirming that (in most cases) they have more than returned on their initial investment.

To illustrate this point, we’ve complied a list of buildings from eras past, paired with movies of similar budgets completed in the same calendar year. Which buildings or movies have contributed the most based on their initial costs?

Biennale i2a

18:38 - 25 April, 2016
Biennale i2a, Biennale i2a_manifesto
Biennale i2a_manifesto

The first i2a Biennale will focus on the important territorial transformations currently underway in Switzerland, with more than 20 invited experts from various disciplines participating in a series of encounters and debates. The 3-day event aims to stimulate a dialogue between insiders and citizens, in order to place the transformations of the Swiss territory within a historical, social and political context.

Hans-Georg Bächtold . Cristina Bianchetti . Francesco Buzzi . Sandro Cattacin . Kees Christiaanse . Pierre Dessemontet . Andrea Felicioni . Martin Heller . Marco Hubeli . Yvette Jaggi . Hubert Klumpner . Maria Lezzi . Sébastien Marot

From Friends to Frasier: 13 Famous TV Shows Rendered in Plan

01:00 - 4 September, 2014
Floorplan of the apartments from "Friends". Image © Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde
Floorplan of the apartments from "Friends". Image © Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde

Have you ever wanted to see the apartments and houses of your favorite TV shows brought to life? To go on a virtual walk-through of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment? Or see the layout of the Simpson’s house in Springfield? Four years ago Spanish interior designer Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde had the same desire, and so he set out to create a floorplan for one of his favorite TV shows, Frasier.  Following interest from his friends for floorplans of their favorite shows, Aliste began to make renderings for them as well. Now, the designer has created floorplans for over 20 shows and movies, ranging from the apartments in Friends to the house in UP!. “Many people have told me that thanks to my drawings, they recall the good times spent with the series or movie…. Even people not used to technical layouts are able to understand my drawings and dive into them,” he said.

Enjoy the full interview with Iñaki as well as images of some of his favorite floorplans after the break…

Architects in Movies

17:00 - 10 December, 2010
Gary Cooper in Fountainhead (1949)
Gary Cooper in Fountainhead (1949)

From the mid 1900′s to the beginning of the 2000′s, being an architect as a profession has made its way into key roles on the big screen for many big shot celebrities. Whether the roles they play in the movies are similar to the reality of the profession or not, I’m sure many architects that have watched some of these movies feel honored that their profession is one that deserves to be highlighted in ways that are not not just in architectural publications, but in the cinema world as well. More images after the break.

Fictional Architects in Movies

13:00 - 30 August, 2009

Via we ran into this list of fictional architects in movies. There are some classic ones, like Henry Fonda. Some new ones like Adam Sandler. And there’s even an actual architect who made it to The Simpsons.

Which one do you like the most? The least? Is there anyone missing in this list? Some actor/actress you would really like as an architect in a movie? Tell us what you think. Full list after the break.

Update: Images and sources were taken from They did this article with different sources like DanStewart, Ajolote Boletin, Archinect, ArchitExploitation, and more.