Buildings and cityscapes – or the lack thereof – change the way we hear significantly. Acousticians and acoustic engineers are often hired to solve problems with sound leakage, but few people consider the difference between a shout across a city block and the same shout down a closed hallway. In this video, the differences in sound quality in various environments are compared, as the “Wikisinger” performs the same song in 15 places.
Cycling between places like a cathedral, a field in front of oil naves, a concrete tunnel, an abandoned attic and a silence chamber, the acoustic differences between each space are made clear as the song reverberates or lands flatly against the walls surrounding it. Splicing and augmenting the different sounds of each place, the singer creates a kind of orchestra of architecture, inviting listeners to take a second to hear the buildings around them.
Over the past 20 years, many of the most renowned European cultural institutions - including ARTE France, Les Films d’Ici, the Louvre, the Ministry of Culture and Communication Department of Architecture and Heritage, Centre Pompidou, City of Architecture and Heritage, Musée d'Orsay and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe - have come together to produce more than 50 architecture documentaries devoted to the most significant achievements of architecture, its beginnings, and the latest creations of the great architects of today. Now, these videos are accessible to the public via the YouTube Channel ACB (Art and Culture Bureau).
Each documentary is approximately 26 minutes long, and focuses on the genesis and impact of a single building that has played a role in the evolution of architecture. Narration is in English, and many of the videos of newer buildings feature interviews with the architects themselves. Check out some of the videos below, or find the entire list here.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R)'s The Broad Museum has been slowly revitalizing its plot of downtown Los Angeles. In this new video by Chang Kyun Kim, The Broad is shown at an intimate human scale. Kim takes viewers on a journey through the space, following a class of elementary school children as they tour the museum.
The video opens with a shot of the museum from across the street. As the film slowly approaches the building, it focuses on small details, like other pedestrians, the line in front of the ticket booth and a worker adjusting a window detail from inside the museum. The video then moves through the building, viewing the art and the children interacting with it, at various distances and angles, mimicking the way one might experience the art in real life. As the children leave, the video closes with shots of The Broad, again from a distance, as if saying goodbye.
“Objects, colors, every artwork, every light, everything is linked to our history—everything is a perception of the meaning of our personal life, and also, of course, an aesthetical way of living.”
In the latest installation of NOWNESS’In Residence series, designer, entrepreneur and university lecturer Carlotta de Bevilacqua uses the context of her home to delve into ideas of what makes a home, the role design plays in her life, and how design requires risks, among other topics. Learn more about de Bevilacqua’s perspective by watching the video above.
A new video by PONGOFILMS titled, “Archaeology of the Sea” captures footage of Italy's Riviera Romagnola during the winter. Using drones, the footage is captured from above, displaying closed aquatic recreation centres in "a place where it's difficult to understand what is waiting for the summer and what will remain lost." Boat rentals, cabanas and nightclubs laze into the frame, bereft of the buzz and activity that usually occupies them. See the full video, with accompanying soundtrack by Tame Impala, below.
Covering everything from the definition of a volute to a look at Eero Saarinen’sDulles international airport, Doug Patt’s “How to Architect” videos offer 15 second glimpses into the world of architecture. Posted on his Instagram account daily, each video explores one fact related to architecture. At the end of each week, the facts are compiled into a longer video on YouTube.
In this video by the AIA, Marlon Blackwell, one of Arkansas’ foremost architects, speaks on the importance of small projects in an architect's career. “I only really worked on small projects at the beginning…that was doing everything…The scale of the site, the scale of the model, the scale of the hand…the beauty of the small project is that you can work at all of those many scales," says Blackwell. “The smaller projects are the beginning of the development of a language in architecture. I see it not as a benign or banal thing but as the beginning of taking yourself from where you are to where you want to be.”
Brooklyn-based artist and designer Ekene Ijeoma has created Wage Islands, an interactive art piece that “expands New York City’s ‘tale of two cities’ by revealing the geographies of access to housing based on wages.”
In the project, a 3D map of the city is submerged in a box filled with black water, showing only the parts of the city that have affordable housing based on a wage of $8.75 and median monthly housing costs from $271 to $4001. Viewers press a button, which increases the wage on the display up to $77, concurrently raising the map out of the water to highlight the severity of the wage gap in relation to housing.
Despite often designing homes larger than 15,000 square feet for their clients, Houston-based design team Mark Schatz and Anne Eamon have designed and built a 980 square-foot house for their family of four. The couple designed and built the home largely on their own, out of leftover materials collected from projects their firm has worked on over the past few years.
Drone Brasília has shared with us a brief video filmed by a drone that gives a bird’s eye view of a signature feature of Brasília -- the “tesourinhas,” the so-called cloverleaf interchange that the city’s highways form.
In just thirty seconds the video shows the scale of the space, marked by cars traveling through the wide avenues, which themselves are projected onto an expansive green plane.
The ruestungsschmie.de architectural collective has shared with us their latest video mapping project on the façade of the Karlsruhe Palace in Karlsruhe, Germany. Designed to celebrate the city’s 300-year anniversary, the projection illuminates all 300 meters of the building’s façade.
The Karlsruhe Palace is the architectural and urban center of the city, from which 32 streets stem out, structuring the urban design of Karlsruhe. This unique city design served as part of the inspiration behind the audiovisual work. The project was created in partnership with Sound Selektor, who composed the soundtrack using only noises recorded from inside the castle, including doors, switches, stairs and the sounds of specific exhibits.
Since we looked at this aerial footage of London in 2012, some major changes in the architecture of the city have occurred. Shot by the same photographer, Jason Hawkes, this new footage of London travels over greenbelts, Piccadilly Circus, the Thames River, The Shard, and Canary Wharf, among other impressive views. Take a look at London’s changed landscape by watching the video above.
“We as a profession have to encourage young architects to understand that the technology they’re using is merely a tool. They have to understand how to build the building that they’re creating, but also understand that this place is going to affect somebody. So what can we do to make it a place that—in a sense—I want to be a part of, that I want to attach to?”
Architect and designer Neri Oxman, head of the Mediated Matter research group at MIT and developer of the “Material Ecology” approach, has given a TED Talk on design as the intersection of technology and biology. Oxman begins her talk by introducing the juxtaposition of left- and right-brain thinking in the design world, noting that her work seeks to marry the two by making design less about assembly of parts, and more about growth. Learn more about Oxman’s distinct work and views by watching the video above.
The route is organized by the themes that have shaped CVDB’s design in recent years, such as public space, transitional space, visual continuity and materiality. In this way, Building Pictures uses the themes to connect the different spaces featured in the video.
“Something I always tell my students is that it’s important to fail on a continuous basis—and I’m not talking about the grade. I mean it’s in the spirit of risk, that you have to be willing to free yourself from a set of preconceptions in order to get to this new place. And if failing constitutes making mistakes in order to learn from these mistakes, then you have achieved an enormous amount. In fact, you’re only able to move forward because of this new-found knowledge.”
“I think one generational shift that’s going on has to do with the interest in architecture students to be involved in the community. Students see architecture not just as a profession, like medicine or law, they see it as a kind of service profession, on the order of social work or social science, where they understand that the work they do affects communities and real people, so they want to involve the communities from the beginning in their design process.”
The film, Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey, explores Guerrero’s photography, showing his collaboration with Frank Lloyd Wright to “produce insightful portraits of important modernist architecture,” which launched him to become “one of the most sought-after photographers of the ‘Mad Men’ era.” While Guerrero was extremely popular at the time, his story today is still largely unknown.