On Wednesday, October 4, the fifteenth edition of the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR) will start. The program involves an extensive list with almost 100 films about architecture and the city, with prominent figures like Rem Koolhaas, Inez Weski, and Martin Koolhoven joining as guests. The festival includes film premiers, classic screenings, masterclasses, excursions, and short programs. Combining the film and built environment worlds, the event will be taking place from 4 to 8 October 2023.
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Stefan Dechant is a production designer with over 25 years of experience in the industry working alongside reputable filmmakers like James Cameron (Avatar), Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland), and Sam Mendes (Jarhead). Recently, Stefan served as the production designer for the upcoming Apple TV+ film 'The Tragedy of Macbeth' directed by Joel Coen. Why did this interest us immediately? Because he had the task of creating 35 Black & White, Abstract Sets.
In the following interview with Stefan, he tells us all about the inspiration behind the aesthetic, his working process between sketches and digital, and finally the stage of building all of this. Read more below.
When examining the world of African cinema, there are few names more prominent than that of Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène. His films ‘La Noire de…’ and ‘Mandabi’, released in 1966 and 1968 respectively, are films that tell evocative stories on the legacies of colonialism, identity, and immigration. And whilst these two films are relatively slow-spaced, ‘slice-of-life stories, they also offer a valuable spatial critique of the setting where the films are based, providing a helpful framework to understand the intricacies of the post-colonial African city, and the contrast between the African and European metropolises.
The festival attracts between 50-100.000 audiences every year to a public program of guided tours, film screenings, debates, seminars, workshops and exhibitions focusing on architecture and urbanism.
It was initially going to run in the cities of Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense from 23rd of April – 3rd of May under the title ‘The Welfare City in Transition’. The dates and formats changed for obvious reasons, but the theme of the festival is more relevant than ever.
1st – 11th of October will be the new dates to run parts of its intended program together with its collaborators as the country is
In a recent film published by Metropolis Magazine, New York-based architect Robert A M Stern explains why we should care about Philip Johnson’s controversial AT&T building. As landmark designation hearings to protect the buildings external facade continue, demolition of the lobby of this iconic Postmodern New York City skyscraper has already completed.
The designs by Snøhetta for the renovation of the building at 550 Madison Avenue have launched the building to the forefront of the debate about the preservation of Postmodern heritage. The plans include replacing the stone facade with undulating glass in order to transform the building's street presence. Should plans progress, the once prominent arched entry will sit behind fritted glass and stone covered columns will be unwrapped to create a hovering datum.
Begin to understand the inner workings of Fumihiko Maki's architectural mind in PLANE—SITE’s latest short film from their Time-Space-Existence series. Each film focuses on the different principles which drive the practice of famous architects. Maki is known for being experimental with materials and fusing east and west culture.
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 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."
Riku Ikegaya Constructs a Series of Nested Spaces in a Berlin Church Designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel
Berlin is city in which the past and the present often collide – a phenomenon particularly acute when it comes to the built environment. In this project by Japanese architect and artist Riku Ikegaya, the interior of St. Elisabeth-Kirche (Church of St. Elizabeth)—designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel—is transformed by means of a structural installation. Consisting of a scale model of Schinkel’s plans for the Rosentaler Vorstadt Church, the artist has composed a "three-dimensional architectural sketch."
This is a story about a girl..... her red tricycle, and of a beautiful house. Inspired by “The Shining” from Stanley Kubrick.
In this film, by architects Spaceworkers and produced by Building Pictures, of Cabo de Vila House instead of using the tricycle and the space to install a sense of madness, the idea of the project is to show that the house has no barriers between the different spaces. The house is set up as an organic geometry that establishes hierarchies between spaces allowing mutual visual contact. What better way to show this than to follow a young girl as she travels through the house on her tricycle.
Check out the full video and more about the project after the break.
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.
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.
Charles and Ray Eames are among the most influential designers of the 20th Century. Enthusiastic and tireless experimenters, this husband and wife duo moved fluidly between the fields of photography, film, architecture, exhibition-making, and furniture and product design. The Eames Office was a hub of activity where they and their collaborators produced a wide array of pioneering designs, communicating their ideas with a boundless creativity that defined their careers. They embraced the joy of trial and error and approached design as a way of life.
In the canon of great Dutch architects sit a number of renowned practitioners, from Berlage to Van Berkel. Based on influence alone, Rem Koolhaas—the grandson of architect Dirk Roosenburg and son of author and thinker Anton Koolhaas—stands above all others and has, over the course of a career spanning four decades, sought to redefine the role of the architect from a regional autarch to a globally-active shaper of worlds – be they real or imagined. A new film conceived and produced by Tomas Koolhaas, the LA-based son of its eponymous protagonist, attempts to biographically represent the work of OMA by “expos[ing] the human experience of [its] architecture through dynamic film.” No tall order.
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?