In honor of International Women’s Day, MASS Design Group has released the latest in their video series “Beyond the Building,” a visual exploration of the ways architecture impacts lives around the world (see the first in the series here). This episode tells the story ofMASS master mason Anne Marie Nyiranshimiyimana, better known as Kankwazi, one of the first and only female masons in her region of Rwanda, who learned her trade while working on the Butaro Hospital project. Her story is a perfect example of how architecture can empower and inspire women in communities across the world. In Kankwazi’s words: “it dignified me [..and] no amount of value can be assigned to dignity.” Enjoy the video above (the first of the series) and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtags #womensday and #beyondthebuilding.
From Henning Larsen Architects. “Architecture is the opposite of the coca-cola-principle,” says Louis Becker, director of Henning Larsen Architects, in this interview with Louisiana Channel. He continues by explaining that architecture is, first and foremost, about seeing things grow. With architecture your dreams become physical: “We are building our ambitions for society.” If architecture was separate from life and society, it would be an uninteresting form and space. The inside of a building must have a relation to the outside; there has to be a dialogue between the life and hope inside, and the city as a whole.
Architecture is also a merger of cultures and ideas. Scandinavian ideas of transparency, democracy and equal access affect the way Henning Larsen Architects approaches architecture. But, at the same time, it is very important to think of what is necessary in the nature, culture and climate that you are working with. “When two different ways of seeing the world meet, that’s when something interesting happens.”
In this video, Becker explains these ideas in relation to two very different projects, one in Saudia Arabia and The Harpa Concert Hall in Reyjavik, Iceland (which was made in collaboration with artist Olafur Eliasson and won the prestigious Mies van der Rohe award in 2013).
‘I Like’ is a multicolored urban kaleidoscope that reveals some of the most amazing architectural interventions in the world, in a series of 11 episodes organized by color.
‘I Like’ premiers on March 4th. Stay tuned!
Produced by Canal 180: a TV channel based in Portugal focused on culture, art & creativity
MASS Design Group, the award-winning design group behind the Butaro Hospital and Umubano Primary School in Rwanda as well as other public-interest projects in Haiti, have launched a video series on a great topic that really resonates with us. “Beyond the Building” will look at the ways in which architecture, beyond buildings, impacts lives around the world, giving dignity back to the users. Check out the awesome video above (the first of the series) and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #beyondthebuilding.
This time last year we published our 30 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2013 featuring a fantastic range of films telling the tales of some of the world’s greatest unsung architectural heroes. We now bring you eleven more for 2014, looking past the panoply of stars to bring you more of the best architectural documentaries which will provoke, intrigue and beguile.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation recently launched its newest documentary as part of the ongoing Oral History series, this time focusing on the ideas and career of Laurie Olin, a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and one of the greatest landscape architects of our time. Olin’s influential work as a practitioner, educator and author over the past forty years has helped to guide the future of landscape architecture and shape urban life around the world.
Producers Monstro Filmes have shared with us a gorgeous animation: an homage to the city of Sao Paulo and its five major architectural icons.
São Paulo: 5 Grandes Construções (Sao Paulo: 5 Great Buildings) highlights the Martinelli Building, Banespa, MASP, COPAN and Unique. Clearly inspired by ”Chicago – Five Great Buildings,” by Al Boardman, the video uses simple, fluid lines to represent and reveal each building’s unique form.
Chris Baribeau of Modus Studio is the exemplar of a “community builder.” With a mantra that moves beyond the building and believes the architect to be responsible for the creation of healthy and thoughtful places, Baribeau and his Fayetteville-based practice have built works that transcends ordinary design. Embodying everything in which drives Modus Studio, the award-winning Eco Modern Flats serves as a prime example of community-based, sustainable design.
In the latest of NOWNESS‘ spectacular videos, Ole Scheeren – a former partner at OMA and now principal of Büro Ole Scheeren in Beijing – reflects on the past decade he has spent in China overseeing construction of the CCTV Headquarters. He muses over the delicate balancing act that Western architects maintain when they work in China, simultaneously bringing change to the city and allowing the city to change who they are and how they see the world. In this context, where change is “something that you are immediately and instantly confronted with” he believes that the CCTV Building is “both confrontational and complicit”.
It has been a long road for Foster + Partners‘s team since first taking on the design for Apple’s new campus in 2009. Four years later, despite the criticism and budget concerns, plans for Apple’s corporate headquarters have been approved by Cupertino’s planning commission. A recent video from the Cupertino City Council reveals some insight into the design decisions, including statements by Sir Norman Foster. As Foster states in the video, CEO Steve Jobs called him “out of the blue” in 2009 and said, “It’s Steve: Hi Norman, I need some help.”
Powerful video projectors at an affordable price have opened the path for a young, impressive art form: 3D video mapping, a means of projection that uses the architecture itself as the screen. Artists and researchers initiated the movement, developing a new visual language to interpret architecture. Later, marketing adopted this technique for branding, with large-scale projections on skyscrapers; political activists have also initiated dialogues, turning ephemeral light interventions into eye-catching ways to point out and address urban design issues.
More on the ways artists and groups develop this visual language for urban storytelling, after the break…
Tourists in India dutifully make the rounds, visiting the spectacular temples, palaces, and forts the country has to offer. But, even when they’re practically under their feet, people often forget about stepwells, the massive subterranean (up to ten stories) structures that dot the Indian landscape.
As this video explains, stepwells, first constructed around 300 CE, were born out of a need to dependably collect and store water. They boast highly complex circulation and ornamentation, and over the years have evolved to function also as community centres and temples. But, as architecture journalist Victoria Lautman has pointed out, with the spread of industrialisation and drought (not to mention widespread demolition), stepwells are slowly becoming derelict.
In one of the latest short films from Nowness, director Matthew Donaldson explores the home of Ruth and Richard Rogers in London’s Chelsea. What appears to be a typical Georgian terrace from the outside, complete with “a resplendent facade in London brick with uniform windows and smart stucco”, opens up into a bold, colourful and homely series of internal spaces that could only belong to Richard Rogers.
Kyoto-based architects Kentaro Takeguchi and Asako Yamamoto of Alphaville Architects have completed a small guest house for tourists visiting the sacred Koyasan (Mt. Koya) in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. The 96 m2 (1,033 ft2) building contains bedrooms, capsule-style dormitory rooms, a bar, and lounge. Between the bar, hallway, and lounge, 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 timber frames are exposed inside at varying intervals to act as partitions
This video was provided by JA+U.
Spirit of Space has shared with us their most recent collaboration with Phil Enquist of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: Art in the City. Pairing powerful quotes with imagery from the Chicago’s most prominent works, the film “expresses the vitality and vibrance that public art can bring to the urban environment by experientially including the viewer in the making of place.” As Spirit of Space describes, “The art is a reflection of the City, the art becomes a part of the City, the art is instrumental in making the City.”
Featured works include Picasso’s sculpture for Daley Plaza, along with Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate and Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.
This Parisian ghost town in Tianducheng, China has become the archetype of China’s architectural copycat culture. Brought to light by the folks at The Atlantic Cities, this short video by German filmmaker Caspar Stracke accounts for an average day in this faux-Parisian development where less than 10,000 residents call home.
For more about China’s copycat culture, read Why China’s Copy-Cats Are Good For Architecture.
Captured by JA+U, this short film takes you on a tour through a 2011, Kazuyo Sejima & Associates-designed office space in Shibaura, Tokyo. Open and transparent, the five double-height, split-level floors are designed to visually connect movement throughout the building, from the ground level public cafe to the generous outdoor terrace on the fifth floor.
With the help of crowdfunding, Luke Shepard journeyed with a friend through 36 cities in 21 countries over the course of three months to capture over 20,000 images of some of Europe’s greatest structures. The end product resulted in a four-minute film entitled Nightvision, which aims to inspire appreciation for the “brilliance and diversity of architecture found across Europe”.
The list of buildings featured in this film can be found on Shepard’s site here.