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10 Revealing Time-Lapse Videos that Explore Architecture's Impact in Construction

Designers are trained to consider the context for a finished building, but often neglect to consider the construction phase. When architecture is primarily judged based on the impacts it has on their surroundings once they are built, what can be learned from the process of building? The time-lapse is a method that can help architects to do just that, as it can capture years of complex development in a matter of minutes. This can uncover patterns of impact on social and economic levels, as months to years are played back over several minutes.

What is shown by time-lapse videos, though, can be as disturbing as it is interesting; when uncovered, the construction process is a revealing process, and the ramifications in regard to energy consumption can be as monumental as the buildings themselves. The time-lapse allows the viewer to get a better understanding of the types and amounts of materials being put into the construction of buildings, and the impact construction has on its immediate surroundings. By comparing time-lapse videos of different projects, what insight can we gain about how the physically generative process of architecture affects people and place?

Watch the 11-Year Construction of One World Trade Center in this Time-Lapse

In recognition of the opening of One World Observatory in New York City, EarthCam has published a full time-lapse of One World Trade Center's construction. Thousands of high-definition images capture the incredible undertaking of construction and planning that took place from October 2004 to Memorial Day 2015. The camera flies the viewer across the site, showing how the building and its surroundings have taken shape over the past 11 years. 

Video: One World Trade Center Features 500 Year Timelapse of New York City

When the One World Trade Center opens its observatory elevators in May, visitors will embark on an unusual journey back in time with animated timelapse that recreates the evolution of Manhattan's skyline starting from the 1500s. In just 47 seconds, visitors will relive the city's architectural history, including the devastation of 9/11, while being lifted up 102 floors. Watch the video above, courtesy of The New York Times

VIDEO: Stunning Time-Lapse Captures Life in Rio de Janeiro

It’s no wonder that the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere. From Copacabana’s Balneario Beach to the iconic Cristo Redentor atop Corcovado, Rio is a “cidade maravilhosa” (marvelous city) with one of the most spectacular urban settings in the world. Capturing its mystic, the pros of Scientifantastic have posted a stunning time-lapse that captures life in the coastal Brazilian megalopolis.

Another, revealing the favelas of Brazil and more, after the break.

Video: Harvard Art Museums Construction Time-Lapse

Harvard Art Museums have released this time-lapse video of their recently completed four-year renovation and expansion project carried out by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Payette. Filmed from June 2010 – November 2014, the video shows the amount of work that went into renovating, expanding and uniting the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum under the same roof. Watch as snow falls (and then melts) on the construction site in the full video above and learn more about the project here

Video: French Cities Come to Life in Mayeul Akpovi's Time-Lapse Movies

These mesmerizing time-lapse videos by photographer Mayeul Akpovi allow you to see several French cities like never before. Combined with captivating soundtracks, the videos show the architecture of ParisMarseille and Lyon throughout the day with changing light and varying levels of activity. Above, Part I of Paris in Motion displays shots of clouds moving across the sky, reflections on the Le Grande LouvreLa Grande Arche. Check out the remaining six videos after the break.

TimeLAX: A Time-Lapse Video Series of Los Angeles

TimeLAX travels across the sprawled city of Los Angeles, connecting some of the city’s most iconic landmarks - Disney Concert Hall, the Griffith Observatory and John Ferraro Building - with over 200 locations that reveal the true essence of the city’s fabric. 

Part 2, after the break. 

Time-Lapse: One World Trade Center

On the twelfth anniversary of September 11th, we would like to share with you this incredible time-lapse capturing the progress of the One World Trade Center between October 2004 and September 2013. The 1,776 foot tall skyscraper, which is expected to be the tallest in Western Hemisphere, topped out earlier this year and is slated for completion in 2014.

Time-Lapse: One World Trade Center

On the twelfth anniversary of September 11th, we would like to share with you this incredible time-lapse capturing the progress of the One World Trade Center between 2004 and 2013. The 1,776 foot tall skyscraper, which is expected to be the tallest in Western Hemisphere, topped out earlier this year and is slated for completion in 2014. 

Google Timelapse Reveals Effects of Rapid Urbanization

NASA, in cooperation with TIME and Google, has unveiled startling timelapse images of Earth from orbit collected by NASA's Landsat program since 1984. This program, created not for spycraft but for monitoring the way in which humans are rapidly altering the surface of the planet, consists of eight satellites that have collected millions of pictures in the course of two generations. When sifted through, cleaned up and stitched together, these pictures come together to create a high-definition slideshow that reveals some of the drastic changes our planet is undergoing - most notably through widespread urbanization.

Video: This is Shanghai

A little over thirty years ago, Shanghai was a fairly dense, mid-rise city with no skyscrapers. Now, Shanghai has been transformed into a global metropolis with over 4,000 skyscrapers - twice as many as New York. In an attempt to capture the “diversities and eccentricities of the metropolis that is Shanghai beyond the famous skyline,” photographer Rob Whitworth and urban identity expert JT Singh joined forces to create ‘This is Shanghai.’

Dubai Timelapse

Check out this Vimeo Staff Pick, filmed by dimid, that captures the towering city of Dubai. 

More images after the break...

Video: Cityscape Chicago

This mesmerizing time-lapse film, by Eric Hines, captures the essence of the “Windy City”. The “Vimeo Staff Pick” is a compilation of over 30,000 still photographs shot between July and October of this year in downtown Chicago.