A new film by Oscilloscope Laboratories and Stephen Wilkes explores photographer Jay Maisel’s move from his iconic six-story bank building he called home for 49 years. The landmark structure at 190 Bowery in the East Village of New York was locally known as The Bank, and considered by many New Yorkers to be abandoned. Wilkes tells the story of Maisel's move and documents the incredible structure that has housed a collection of countless objects for half a century.
Documentary: The Latest Architecture and News
Before social media took over, buildings were published on magazines, edited and refined according to their architects’ preferences. Nowadays, magazines are left on the sidelines for a much more influential platform, one that is not totally controlled by the architects. Digital communication has changed the way people view and interact with architecture, providing architects with new insights on how to design their structures.
PLANE—SITE, a global production agency involved in the world of urban, cultural, and social spaces, have put together a short video that examines the impact of social media on architecture firms. Building Images provides insights from OMA/AMO and UNStudio, two firms with different approaches to social media, who explain how social platforms have helped them see their projects in unprecedented ways.
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.
The Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy was one of the most influential thinkers, designers and art educators of the first half of the twentieth century. His experimentation with light, space and form generated international attention. Among those impressed by Moholy-Nagy's work was Walter Gropius, German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School, who made Moholy-Nagy one of the youngest instructors in the history of the Bauhaus. In his time at the Bauhaus, Moholy-Nagy utilized multi-disciplinary art practices to revolutionize abstract artistic media.
But who was the man?
Chiloé is a five-part video series produced by Glaciar Films and directed by Diego Breit and David Guzmán; it explores the architectural identity of the southern island off of Chile. Architects, carpenters, artisans, and inhabitants present the constructive history of the island and explore how it is faced with the imminent changes of modern production and practices.
Glaciar Films has made three of the five episodes available to ArchDaily readers. In these clips, explore the island's architecture along with interviews with principal architects of the region: Jonah Retamal, Edward Rojas, and Macarena Almonacid.
"Past, Present, Future": Leading Dutch and Italian Designers on Being an Architect Yesterday, Today, and Beyond
Architecture is always evolving. The practice and business of architecture are undoubtedly evolving alongside the more obvious technological advances, but what we often forget is that there are no new ideas. When it comes to design, what we see manifested in our daily lives is the result of evolution. And at the root of that design evolution is inspiration.
A new initiative from Gianpiero Venturini and his firm Itinerant Office titled Past, Present, Future aims to open a research path based on the analysis of successful practices in the 21st Century while ultimately providing a new form of inspiration for the next generations of architects and designers. The documentary series begins with a select group of 11 international architects, including Jacob van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV, Mario Cucinella, and Simone Sfriso, co-founder of TAMassociati. Each architect is featured in three video interviews in which they reveal the methodology behind their designs, the themes and approaches within their architectural practice, and the predictions they have for architecture in the near and distant future.
ArchDaily had the chance to catch Rem Koolhaas and his son, Tomas Koolhaas, together, when they met for a weekend in Los Angeles. In their first ever interview together, following the release of “REM” online, we spoke with the pair about the documentary that was four years in the making. The film had Tomas following his father from the desert to the ocean to the 2014 Venice Biennale, as well as inside several OMA projects around the world, like the Seattle Central Library in America and Maison à Bordeaux in France.
The pair reveal what their father-son relationship is like, how the profession of architecture and filmmaking inform each other, and shine a light on the challenges of filming a well-known family member. Work aside, what came across the most strongly throughout the conversation was the respect they had for each other’s craft, and their gratitude for the chance to work so intimately as father and son.
Hong Kong is a unique city. With its unlikely history as a British Colony, its position as a global hub city, and its spectacular geography, the dense, lively streets of Hong Kong feature a variety of urban phenomena that can't be found anywhere else in the world. In this series of video essays, New Office Works probes the urban character of Hong Kong with stunning depth, uncovering histories and explanations that bring new intrigue to an urban fabric that is, both literally and figuratively, already heavily layered.
The title of the series, Middle Man, references Hong Kong's status as a city that mediates between east and west, calling back to the "compradors" that helped the city to grow in the 19th century by translating for traders—middlemen in the most literal sense. Rooted in this history, the urban environment is not one built on grand schemes or overarching ideals, says New Office Works: "The combination of a growing population and limited land has cultivated an instant-fix mentality. There is neither time nor space for architectural ideologies, only pure pragmatism."
What if the one thing that makes BIG "BIG" was suddenly stripped away right at the apex of its potential? That's the question posed by the trailer for Kaspar Astrup Schrøder’s documentary BIG TIME, which ominously illustrated a possible problem with Bjarke Ingels’ health.
Schrøder's documentary highlights the intense journey of Bjarke Ingels, the founder of Bjarke Ingels Group, through the past few years of his life. This unique insight into what exactly it's like to be an architect on top of the world ultimately poses a question that needs to be answered by anyone seeking to reshape the world through design. How do you handle the responsibility of forming the future you want to live in?
Balkrishna Doshi, despite his vast number of completed projects, is a little-known name in the Western world. Directed by Premjit Ramachandran, the documentary "Doshi" allows the viewer to appreciate the vision of this important Indian architect, probing his thoughts while getting to know a number of his projects. Filmed in a frank style of conversation, the documentary reveals an original and creative human being who, even in old age, remains passionate about architecture as well as life and learning.
The film becomes a roundtable with Doshi, his alumni, his contemporaries and even family members, all within the context of his architecture. The camera follows its protagonist through spaces designed by him, while he narrates, recalls and explains his processes of creation. It also reveals how he makes his philosophy an intrinsic part of his own life.
'Tuscanyness' Film Explores the Detachment of Modern Italian Architecture and the Fight to Restore Faith in Design
Following the evolution of architecture in Tuscany, this documentary maps out the decline of the region in the shadow of Brunelleschi and Alberti. From the 14th century onwards, Italy underwent a cultural rebirth that changed the entire world, bearing the architectural mastery of the Renaissance. However now, there appears to be a detachment within modern architecture and little work for the many architects who are being forced to emigrate.
The building was the subject of the season premier of "Impossible Builds," which profiles "the creation of some of the world’s most ambitious, complex and technologically advanced construction projects."
Described by the show as "one of the most complex skyscrapers ever to make it off the drawing board," the 62-story tower features a unique glass fiber reinforced concrete exoskeleton – a system never before seen at this scale.
The show is now available to watch in its entirety online. Check it out below!
The new year is here! And with it, a new slate of documentaries we're dying to see.
Of all the media forms, film seems to be the most adept at making a personal connection with viewers, offering a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of a great architect, the construction, and performance of a project or an issue that is confronting the entire architecture community. This year's films are no exception, as we get the chance to learn about the daily routines of Bjarke Ingels and Paulo Mendes da Rocha, projects by Tadao Ando and Glenn Murcutt, and the troubles of urbanization and gentrification.
Check out this year's list below, and find more great architecture documentaries with our Architecture Documentaries to Watch in 2017, Architecture Documentaries to Watch in 2015, our top 40 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2014, and our 30 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2013.
In the midst of the tall, rectilinear skyscrapers which make up downtown Chicago appears a short, sloped glass curtain wall, topped by a protruding truncated cylinder structure: Helmut Jahn’s Thompson Center. Opened in 1985, the building was to be home for a variety of agencies of the State of Illinois, and its design was a play off of the traditional American statehouse, updated with glass walls symbolizing government transparency and an immense atrium evoking the atrium spaces found in most United States’ statehouses. The interior spaces, however, stirred further contention with the public. Unconventional red, blue, and white paints coat the interior elements—a design choice many believed to be provocative and even jarring.
The Minnesota Experimental City (MXC)—a utopian plan for the city of the future that was decades ahead of its time, and yet is surprisingly little-known—was the brainchild of the urban planner and technocrat Athelstan Spilhaus. Spilhaus was a man who saw science as the solution to the problems of the world, and became a public figure presenting his ideas of utopia in everyday life through his comic strip "Our New Age." During the mid-1960s, he conceived an ambitious plan to condense his ideas into a prototype for future cities that would be both noiseless and fumeless, accommodating America's growing population and their by-products.
A new documentary, The Experimental City, explores the development, and ultimately, failure of the MXC's vision for future settlements. Using retro film clips, it takes us back in time to a period where Spilhaus' predictions of computers that can fit into your home and remote banking appeared more of a fantasy than reality. The film is directed by Chad Freidrichs (known also for his 2011 film The Pruitt-Igoe Myth) and was premiered at the Chicago Film Festival, in conjunction with the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Several further screenings will be taking place across the country, including at DOC NYC on November 16th.
Soon you will be able to satisfy your wanderlust free from altitude sickness; on Wednesday October 4th, the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam will see the world premiere of the documentary Cholet: The Work of Freddy Mamani. From director Isaac Niemand comes the story of Bolivia's unlikely architectural phenomenon, and one of ArchDaily’s 2015 leaders in architectural design and conceptualization.
In this film produced by Vice, Eyal Weizman—director of London-based research agency Forensic Architecture—explains how his team have developed methods of investigating bombings in areas of conflict across the globe. Using cellphone footage, examining floor plans, and utilising road maps, Weizman brings together scientists, journalists, and graphic designers in order "to analyze destroyed buildings for evidence of human rights abuses."
Netflix isn't just a great service for relaxing or procrastinating—it can also be a great learning tool for architecture and urbanism. That is why we have put together seven tips—including both series and documentaries—for architecture-related viewing that, in addition to being entertaining, can help broaden your knowledge.