Staircases can trigger conversations, provide a sense of arrival, and dazzle with ingenuity. As an architectural element, they are not just about circulation – so why are they neglected in the design of so many new projects? In this short film from Monocle, the breadth of ingenuity possible with the stair—from those of the Danish National Bank in Copenhagen to London’s Leighton House Museum—explore how they can come to embody the very essence of a good architectural project.
Film: The Latest Architecture and News
In this visual essay, Greek filmmaker Yiannis Biliris documents the all-pervasive pall of glass that covers the modern city. The three-and-a-half-minute-long film, produced by Visual Suspect and shot entirely in Hong Kong, captures the vivid reflections seen in the facades of the city’s buildings, as Biliris selectively pans and zooms his camera to instill a strong sense of urgency in the viewer’s mind.
The essay, beautifully haunting in its imagery, might be seen as a reflective commentary on the state of our built environment today. Inspired by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which states that mass causes a distortion in space and time, it seems to subtly ask if our understanding of reality is warped itself. Describing the video as "a visual essay about perception and knowledge as [a] reflection of our reality," Biliris comments that "mass curves space and time, while the observer has his own perspective."
Architectural photographer Julien Lanoo is known for his storytelling. His documentary-style photographs of the built environment range from Adjaye Associates' Aishti Foundation, OMA’s CCTV and the Oslo Architecture Triennale to name a few. Now the photographer has released a short film: introducing Canadian-Ghanaian architect Akwasi McLaren as he tells the story behind building his eco-lodge in the Cape 3 Points region of Ghana. Broken down into 3 chapters, “Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding” follows McLaren’s journey from designing his parents’ hotel in Ghana as a student to building his beloved lodge on the beach, to his hopes of sharing the valuable skills of ecological building and craftsmanship to cities.
Jože Plečnik is often described as Slovenia's greatest architect despite his passing over seven decades ago. The trace of his hand, which was trained in Vienna under Otto Wagner, can be seen across the country – and especially so in Ljubljana. Although Plečnik is often most keenly remembered for his restorative work and renovation of Prague Castle in the 1920s, the impact he left on the Slovenian capital is unmistakable.
Today, the city is dominated by a medieval castle, sat definatly atop a hill. It was for here, on this particularly charged site, that Plečnik proposed a radical intervention in the mid-20th Century. He wanted to build a new Slovene Parliament – a structure of State to house the legislature of the People's Republic of Slovenia within the second Yugoslavia. With this plan rejected by the authorities, Plečnik proposed a second design—known colloquially as the "Cathedral of Freedom"—here rebuilt and animated for the first time by Kristijan Tavcar.
New footage from drone videographer Duncan Sinfield reveals that finishing touches are being applied to one of the Apple Campus's more important outward-facing buildings, and perhaps its most 'public' – the "Steve Jobs Theater". Designed and constructed using similar elements to the nearby office 'ring'—including large convex glazed panels and precise, rounded cladding panels—the theater's main function will be to host the company's world-renowned keynote addresses, in which they present new products.
As a part of the dominating discourse, Norwegian cities and municipalities are aiming to be creative, innovative, competitive and attractive. They’re often competing to attract the; well educated, mobile, young, culture-consuming, innovative creative upper middle class. At the same time, the differences in Norway increase and social inequality is on the rise. The tension between focus on a desired future and real-time management can pose challenges.
Celebrating the unique creative spirit that drives architecture and design, the Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) comes to Tippet Rise Art Center, the 10,260-acre sculpture park and classical music center in the Montana highlands, this September. Architect Kyle Bergman, ADFF’s founder, will bring a lineup of eight films to Tippet Rise that intimately explore the connections between nature and architecture and examine how architects from around the world grapple with the constraints and inspirations presented by their sites.
Architecture and film are interlocked: both unfold narrative ideas through space and time, taking us to real and virtual worlds; both start with the imagination, and then take on their own reality. Films are set in cities, landscapes and buildings where architecture is a visual shorthand, telling us about characters and plot in an instant. Yet a dedicated festival that brings architecture and film together has never before been held in this country.
“The greatest thing about being an architect,” pronounced Bjarke Ingels, “is that you build buildings.”
After the great success of last year’s Summer School in Aarhus, we are hosting another summer camp this year in Lemvig under the title “Landscape as Character.”
The CAFx Summer School 2017 will focus on the temporal nature and character of the Danish landscape. With reference to the 17 UN goals for a better world, we will shed light on the future, present, and past of the magnificent sceneries that make up Western Jutland.
IFC has announced the release of their latest documentary, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, which will dive into “the enduring legacies of one of the most prominent figures of modern urban planning, Jane Jacobs, and talks about her David-Goliath fight to save NYC.”
Humor is a very rare quality in architecture, most architects are too serious
-Andreas Ruby, director of the Swiss Architecture Museum S AM, Basel
Since its founding in 1996, Slovenia architecture firm Sadar+Vuga has grown to become one of their country’s most influential architectural forces, with a range of projects covering interior design, to stadiums, to city master plans. In a new documentary by director Damjan Kozole, the firm’s history is being archived for the first time.
Following our favorite Architecture Documentaries to Watch in 2015, our top 40 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2014, and our choice 30 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2013, we're looking ahead to 2017! Our latest round up presents a collection of the most critically acclaimed, popular and often under-represented films and documentaries that provoke, intrigue, inform and beguile. From biopics of Eero Saarinen, Frei Otto and Laurie Baker, to presentations of Chinese "palaces" and the architecture of Africa, Cambodia and India, these are our top picks.
"The Architect", directed by Jonathan Parker, is a film that moves between drama and comedy. It features a humorous (and some would say believable) satire of architects. In the film an egocentric, and grandiose architect named Miles Moss, played by actor James Frain, works with a couple who wants to build their dream home.
Update: following the screening period The Infinite Happiness is no longer available to watch on ArchDaily. The full collection of Bêka and Lemoine's films can be viewed on demand, here.
For two days only—between Friday, December 2 and Sunday, December 4—you can watch The Infinite Happiness, part of Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine's Living Architectures series, exclusively on ArchDaily. The film, shot entirely in Copenhagen's "8 House" designed by BIG, follows a group of residents (and passers-by) as they experience life in a contemporary housing block widely considered to embody new models of living.
Filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, creators of the Living Architectures seminal collection of films on architecture, will screen The Infinite Happiness—shot entirely in Copenhagen's "8 House" designed by BIG—exclusively on ArchDaily from Friday, December 2 until Sunday, December 4.
Marking the forthcoming release of two DVD box-sets of their entire œuvre (which was acquired by New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 2016) Bêka and Lemoine have, over the course of the Living Architectures project, developed films about and in collaboration with the likes of the Barbican in London, the Fondazione Prada, La Biennale di Venezia, Frank Gehry, Bjarke Ingels, the City of Bordeaux, the Arc en Rêve centre d’architecture, and more. Their goal in this has always been to "democratize the highbrow language of architectural criticism. [...] Free speech on the topic of architecture," Bêka has said, "is not the exclusive property of experts." Their first film, Koolhaas Houselife (2008), has come to embody this unique approach.
Watch The Infinite Happiness on ArchDaily here from December 2 1800GMT.
For this edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the team turn their attention to the crossroads where design and architecture meet film. From a documentary about Pruitt-Igoe, the St. Louis housing project, to a new reading of the title sequence of Superman, this episode investigates the role of architecture in film – and visa versa.
What are the philosophical consequences of automation after the integration of pervasive AI into the architecture, landscapes and cognitive maps of our planet and its populations? We suggest that "natural models" of automation pre-exist our technology, with profound implications for human and planetary systems. We’re interested in specific examples and models outside of our cultural milieu that test the limits of bodies, that map habits and their disruption through noise, and reframe the relation between life and consciousness. The following examples index the performance of networks in tight cycles of feedback loops: machines teaching machines. To go to the root of the philosophical consequences of automation our path is through abstract and universalist models of ‘natural laws’, redeployed into specific local situations. We use the term ‘drive’ for its myriad implications connecting across the examples we have chosen.