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 whose 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…
The critically acclaimed documentary Unfinished Spaces will premiere on PBS today at 10pm (ET). The film reveals the turbulent past of Fidel Castro’s Cuba and tells the story of his utopian dream to construct the Cuban National Arts Schools.
In 1961, in the heady first days of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro asked three visionary architects to build the Cuban National Arts Schools on what had been the golf course of a country club. Before construction was completed, the Revolution became Sovietized, and suddenly the project was denounced as bourgeois and counter-revolutionary. These radical, magnificent buildings become a prism through which we see the turbulent, ever-shifting history of Castro’s Cuba and follow the fates of the three architects, now in their 80s, who may get a second chance to revitalize their utopian project.
Although it has been rumored that Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta has selected Norman Foster to complete the Vittoria Garatti’s School of Ballet, the status of this claim still remains unknown.
Read more about the history of Unfinished Spaces here on ArchDaily.
How does it sound when Richard Jackson, MD, MPH, host of Designing Healthy Communities says that we are among the first generation in modern history to have shorter lifespans than our parents? It is a frightening thought, especially when it is compounded with the idea that the way in which we have designed – that is our buildings, our streets, our infrastructure, our food, our lifestyles – for decades has contributed to it. Designing Healthy Communities is a project that is dedicated to confronting contemporary issues of public health associated with the built environment and offering solutions that encourage reshaping our interactions, lifestyles and design strategies. In a series of episodes, Dr. Jackson discusses various factors within our environment that has caused rampant chronic health problems, the most prominent of which is Type 2 Diabetes caused by obesity. It comes down to an environment that promotes a sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices.
Yul Kwon of PBS travels coast to coast to reveal how America’s transportation systems make the nation the most mobile place on earth. Woven together by 200,000 miles of railways, 5,000 airports and 4 million miles of roads, America’s car culture has shaped our cities and defined our lifestyles. However, as roadways become more congested, many predict people will eventually give up this car-centric lifestyle and embrace mass transit. Recently we announced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s selection of Gruen Associates and Grimshaw Architects to design the new master plan for Union Station in Los Angeles. Their winning proposal gives a hint of what America may look like by 2050, as it transforms into a more mass transit centered nation.
Watch Profile of Robert A.M. Stern on PBS. See more from Architect Robert A.M. Stern: Presence of the Past.
PBS producer and host Geoffrey Baer tells the story of Robert A.M. Stern – a Brooklyn boy who grew up to be self-proclaimed Modern traditionalist architect who has not only significantly impacted the streets of Manhattan but the architectural profession as a whole. Many of his close friends and colleagues describe “Bob” as an intelligent, witty, sarcastic provocateur who is warm, giving person that is always an architect first. Stern has also greatly influenced the profession with his many publications. He believes writing gives architects the opportunity to contribute by describing and explaining the principals behind ones ideas. When referring to his passion for writing, Stern comments, “What would I do on Saturday? I don’t play golf.”
Be sure to check out the complete documentary here on the PBS website and learn about Stern’s influence on transforming a seedy version of New York’s beloved 42nd street into the glamorous place it is today.
PBS has released their selections of the top ten buildings that have changed the way Americans live, work and play. From Thomas Jefferson’s 224-year-0ld Virginia State Capitol to Robert Ventui’s postmodern masterpiece the Vanna Venturi House, each building on the list will be featured in a new TV and web production coming to PBS in 2013. Continue after the break to view the top ten influential buildings and let us know your thoughts!
PBS has released their sixteen finalists under consideration for piloting. Making their short-list is Cool Spaces, a show focused on featuring modern architecture, hosted by architect Stephen Chung. The show is slated to be a 13-part series focused on buildings in North America. The public spaces Chung would visit include libraries, restaurants, hotels, etc. with approximately two or three buildings featured per half hour episode.
From now until December 15th PBS wants to hear from the public via emails expressing support for their favorite finalists. Email DIFundSubmission@pbs.org if you are interested in voicing your support for Cool Spaces.