Of all arts, there is one that is truly capable of embracing architecture, and that is the cinema. The ability to represent spaces, moving in the course of time, brings cinema closer to architecture in a way that goes beyond the limitations of painting, sculpture, music - for a long time considered to be the art closest to ours - and even of dance. Both in cinema and in architecture space is a key subject, and although they deal with it in different ways, they converge by providing a bodily - and not only visual - experience of the built environment.
Cinema: The Latest Architecture and News
This article was originally published on Strelka Magazine.
This year’s Garage Screen summer cinema has been unveiled. The structure, located in front of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, is the result of an architectural competition organized by the museum and Strelka KB.
Resembling a flat-topped pyramid, the SYNDICATE architects-designed pop-up cinema invites viewers to watch films in a highly unique space in the middle of Gorky Park. While the structure is without walls, red velvet curtains create the illusion of a cozy, enclosed chamber where movie-goers can relax and allow themselves to get lost in the plot.
LocationR. Mal. Deodoro, 3 - Centro Histórico, Paraty - RJ, 23970-000, Brazil
Lead ArchitectsLuís Tavares / Marinho Velloso
This article was originally published on July 29, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.
Upon opening its doors for the first time on a rainy winter’s night in 1932, the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan was proclaimed so extraordinarily beautiful as to need no performers at all. The first built component of the massive Rockefeller Center, the Music Hall has been the world’s largest indoor theater for over eighty years. With its elegant Art Deco interiors and complex stage machinery, the theater defied tradition to set a new standard for modern entertainment venues that remains to this day.
The link between architecture and cinema is unquestionable, as is the magic of seeing a film in a place structured specifically for this contemplative activity. The design requires architectural solutions that not only respond to the distribution of seats and visibility of movie-goers but also to acoustics and lighting.
Various projects published on our site highlight how architects have responded to this challenge in innovative ways. Below, stunning 10 movie theaters with their plans and drawings.
How does the built environment--whether fictitious or entirely founded in reality--impact how we experience and process film? From lesser-known indies to blockbuster movies, the ways in which architecture and the built environment inform everything from scene and setting, to dialogue and character development has far-reaching effects on the audience’s cinematic experience. Below, a roundup of everything from recent releases to classic cinephile favorites uncovers the myriad ways in which film utilizes architecture as a means of achieving a more authentic and all-encompassing form of storytelling.
The mastery of stone is one of the most impressive features of Portuguese architecture. From the precise cut in fittings to beautiful floor designs, Portuguese architecture carries in its womb an almost born talent to manipulate one of -- if not the oldest material used in the history of construction.
In celebration of this material, experimentadesign, a research project focused on design and architecture founded in Lisbon, developed Primeira Pedra, or First Stone. This multimedia platform explores the characteristics and qualities of Portuguese stone.
Photographer Stefanie Zoche of Haubitz-Zoche has captured a series of vibrant images showcasing the “hybrid modernist” movie theaters of Southern India. The images below, also available on the artist’s website, capture the large number of cinemas built in both rural and urban areas of South India in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, all conveying an “unconventional mix of local building styles and Western influences."
As Zoche describes, the colorful facades, “suggestive of theatrical sets, provide a foretaste of the cinematic experience in the hall itself, in which extravagant shapes and ornamentation are continued and put the viewer in the right mood for the cinematic world before the screening itself.”
The Lisbon Triennale is looking for national and international independently funded proposals that can be articulated and also complement the central program of its 5th edition, that will take place between October 3rd and December 2nd 2019.
UNStudio Wins France's Largest Private Architecture Competition for Cultural Cinema Center in EuropaCity
UNStudio has been selected as the winner of the largest ever private initiative architectural competition to be held in France – for the keystone ‘Centre Culturel’ of the new EuropaCity development currently being developed in the Triangle de Gonesse region just north of Paris.
As a brand new ground-up district, in 2017 EuropaCity launched a call for the design of 8 key buildings to be located within BIG’s competition winning master plan, including a concert hall, hotels, contemporary circus and exhibition hall. UNStudio was chosen to design the new Centre Culturel Dédié Au 7è Art, which will house a cinema complex and “cultural laboratory.”
Why does a film garner critical acclaim? Is it captivating performances from its actors? Stunning tableaus and cinematic moments? Or, could it be the intricate sets where tales of drama, laughter, love, and loss play out?
Following her stunning watercolor prints of last year’s Oscar nominees and the Netflix sensation Stranger Things, architect and illustrator Boryana Ilieva provides a glimpse into the elaborate sets of 6 stand-out films from 2017. With the Golden Globes broadcasted earlier this month and the Academy Awards only a few weeks away, the homes in these award-winning motion pictures deserve as many accolades as the Hollywood stars who inhabit them.
Designed for the V-A-C Foundation, Venice-Based Israeli architect Omri Revesz’s adjustable Street Cinema rests lightly next to a canal in Venice, Italy, expanding, contracting, opening, and closing as its program changes.
Acting as a social gathering point during the day and an open-air cinema at night, the structure was open for the 74th Venice Film Festival as part of the V-A-C’s Venice Art Biennale 2017 exhibition Space Force Construction – a reflection on the centenary of the Soviet Revolution.
The overlap between cinema and architecture is a topic that has already been debated and even addressed in several articles published in ArchDaily. It is difficult to imagine a film that is not related in any way to the architecture, either through the construction of scenarios, the locations, or even the compositions within each plane and sequence - that make use of light, shadow, varied scales, and characters.
In many films, architecture and the city play a much more decisive role than the mere backdrop or stage for the narrative, acting as crucial elements or even characters. Next, we selected five films in which landscape and urban spaces are essential for the construction of the plot.
"There are several ways of making films. Like Jean Renoir and Robert Bresson, who make music. Like Sergei Eisenstein, who paints. Like Stroheim, who wrote novels spoken in the days of silent film. Like Alain Resnais, who sculpts. And like Socrates - I mean Rossellini, who creates philosophy. Cinema, in other words can be everything at the same time, judge and litigant "- Jean-Luc Godard 
It is difficult to imagine cinema taking place in a vacuum. Without the scene to fill each storyline, we cannot be transported away from our reality to the world of the film we are immersed in. Within Godard's list of ways to make films, we can add another: cinema as architecture. The interaction between cinema and architecture - "the inherent architecture of cinematic expression and the cinematographic essence of architectural experience" is a complex, often multifaceted dialogue between both disciplines. 
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?
The Architectural Review is seeking the most exciting cultural buildings in the world completed in the last 5 years – from museums to performance spaces, galleries to libraries. This is your chance to be recognised on the global stage as a leading designer of cultural projects!
The Cineroleum, a self-initiated project built in 2010 by London based practice Assemble Studio, transformed a derelict petrol station into a "hand-built" cinema on one of capital's busiest roads. Aimed at raising awareness to the wider potential for reusing the 4,000 empty petrol stations across the UK for public use, the adapted structure on Clerkenwell Road was "enclosed by an ornate curtain" strung from the "roof of the petrol station's forecourt. Described as an "improvisation of the decadent interiors that greeted audiences during cinema’s golden age," classic infusions of cinematic iconography were integrated into a space built from only cheap, reclaimed or donated materials.