Photo by Felix Mooneeram

10 Must-Watch Specialized Architecture Movies!

There have been many amazing documentaries about architects, architecture and all that jazz, but here are our top 10 suggestions for you to watch this year! Which ones have you seen already?

On our Architect-US Facebook Page each Saturday we give you a screenshot for our “Guess the Movie” game and we’ve loved receiving your messages with not only the answer, but with your suggestions on which one we should post next. So obviously, our Community is filled with movie fans which is awesome, because we ourselves really enjoy sitting back and eating some popcorn while being entertained and educated (at the same time) by a good film. Such are the well-made documentaries on interesting subjects and we’ve chosen the ones you all simply must watch if you are an architect!

  1. REM

OMA is a partner of ours for quite some time now and each and every person there is awesome, but this documentary is about Rem Koolhaas, who started it all, by founding the company in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp.  The director, Rem’s son, Tomas Koolhaas classifies it as “the first documentary to comprehensively explore the human conditions in and around Rem Koolhaas’ buildings from a ground level perspective”.

2. Diller Scofidio + Renfro: Reimagining Lincoln Center and the High Line

We are proud to recommend this one not only because DS+R are amazing, but they also just happen to be our newest partners! What a great way to kick off 2018, right? Well, anyway, this movie offers insights into the company’s history, significant projects, and the process of re-imagining 2 major New York urban spaces.

3. Making Space: 5 Women Changing the Face of Architecture

We are all about empowerment and this one looks at 5 female contemporary architects:  Annabelle Selldorf (New York), Farshid Moussavi (London), Kathryn Gustafson (Seattle, Washington D.C. and London), Marianne McKenna (Toronto) and Odile Decq (Paris). Inspirational!

4. Urbanized 

Including the opinions of some of the most iconic architects, urban planners, politicians, builders and thinkers (Norman Foster, Alejandro AravenaJames Canton, Joshua David, Oscar Niemeyer), this documentary is about the design of cities and looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design. It asks and answers questions such as who is allowed to shape our cities, and how do they do it…

5. Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Continuing with the theme of urban design, this one is about Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist and author of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive development projects. She is the one who’s helped shape the understanding of the modern American city!

6. The Construction of Villa Além 

A film that follows the construction of the house that Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati and his wife Tamara imagined for themselves, to live in for part of the year, somewhere on the Alentejo coast. A must-see!

7. Bernardes 

This film explores the series of events that led Bernardes to anonymity, after being a prominent Brazilian architect in the 1960s. Bernardes was a contemporary of Oscar Niemeyer, renowned for his elegant upper-class houses and much more. A movie about more than buildings – it’s about a life.

8. Telos: The Fantastic World of Eugene Tssui

“… chronicles the unorthodox life and revolutionary work of Eugene Tssui, an eccentric visionary and a maverick architect. He questions traditional building standards and put nature and the environment at the forefront of his designs long before “green” and “eco-friendly” became buzzwords.”

9. Cholet: The work of Freddy Mamani

We will talk about culture this week and this movie is a great intro into the topic of identity, value and uniqueness. Mamani’s work is inspired by his own culture and iconography, along with the culture of his perceived ancestors, the Tiwanaco people.

 10. Tadao Ando: From Emptiness to Infinity

An exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the work and processes of Ando, the only architect to have won the discipline’s four most prestigious prizes: the Pritzker, Carlsberg, Praemium Imperiale, and Kyoto Prize.

Let us know your favorites and your suggestions on our Facebook Page! (And don’t forget to Like the Page!)



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