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Architecture and the Architects


Architecture and the Architects



DILLER SCOFIDIO + RENFRO: REIMAGINING LINCOLN CENTER AND THE HIGH LINE

Director: Muffie Dunn & Tom Piper

Diller Scofidio + Renfro has long been at the forefront of design. The interdisciplinary design firm, founded in 1979, first stirred interest with its provocative exhibitions of theoretically based projects that blurred the boundaries between art and architecture. In 1999, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, the firm's founding principals, were awarded the prestigious "genius" grant by the MacArthur Foundation, in recognition of their commitment to integrating architecture with issues of contemporary culture.

With the almost simultaneous completion of two large-scale projects in New York City - the renovation of the High Line and revitalization and expansion of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts - Diller Scofidio + Renfro has galvanized the public's attention. Between 2004 and 2011, the firm, in collaboration with James Corner Field Operations, converted the derelict High Line railroad tracks on the city's West Side (from Gansevoort to 30th streets) into a sophisticated 1.5 mile elevated urban park.

From early 2003 to 2010, DS+R redesigned Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard School, built a free-standing, grass-covered pavilion that houses a destination restaurant (the Lincoln) and a public lawn, and inventively modified the public spaces connecting the complex's existing buildings. As architecture critic Martin Filler states in the film, "Both the High Line and Lincoln Center have had a really euphoric effect on life in New York. So it's populism of a very high order."

In this 54-minute documentary, intelligent commentary from the architects is complemented by remarkable cinematography and interviews with New York City planning commissioner Amanda Burden and other civic figures. Critics and theorists Mark Wigley, Anthony Vidler, and Mr. Filler, offer insights into the firm's history, previous completed projects, and their unique process of reimagining the public identities of two major New York urban spaces.


DVD (Color) / 2012 / 54 minutes

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THE HEART OF FLORENCE

The Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, the central cathedral of Florence, was constructed over eight centuries. Under the supervision and funding of the Wool Merchants' Guild, generations of Florentine artists and architects dedicated their lives to the project, setting in stone changes in the aesthetic ideals of the time and advances in engineering. The biography of Filippo Brunelleschi, the brilliant self-taught master who introduced the technique of one-point perspective, designed the cathedral's dome as well as machinery necessary for its construction is intertwined with the story of the cathedral and the city itself, his career, which was full of professional rivalry and inspiration to future artists and engineers. Restoration workshops still follow the traditional techniques of the master sculptors who adorned the cathedral's interior and facade.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High - College) / 52 minutes

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THE SOUL OF VENICE

After the Fall of the Roman Empire, an Eastern Roman province of Venetia survived the conquest by the Franks. It gradually grew to become a crucial trade center between the Byzantine Empire and Europe. Saint Mark's Basilica was built in place of an older church and from the very start, became a symbol of the economic and political power of Venice. The design, a mix of Eastern and Western basilica, its ornaments-an imposing display of Byzantine mosaics and altar pieces, Gothic sculptures and lavish treasures stripped off the buildings of the old empire. The famous bronze Horses taken from Constantinople's Hippodrome stood for centuries as symbols of Venice's unruly defiance, and a legend of empires falling whenever they were moved, grew around the monumental sculptures. The Most Serene Republic of Venice fell to Napoleon's conquest, and the Basilica has had to face the challenges of age, negligence and tourism.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High - College) / 52 minutes

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ROBERT A.M. STERN: 15 CENTRAL PARK WEST AND THE HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK APARTMENT HOUSE

Director: Tom Piper

Even during the Great Recession of 2008, one new apartment house in New York City continued to set the bar for real-estate prices: 15 Central Park West.

Designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects, the lavish, limestone-clad structure from 61st to 62nd streets is arguably one of the most luxurious residential buildings to rise in the city in decades. Stern deliberately evokes the grand era of New York apartments designed in the 1920s and 1930s, especially the intricately planned architecture of Rosario Candela.

Stern, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, with his own practice in New York, has written a series of books on the history of New York City architecture, in which the high-rise apartment house plays a prominent part.

In this film shot in High-Definition, Stern explains why apartment buildings of past decades appealed to so many affluent city dwellers and the lessons learned by examining the houses' design and construction.

Amenities of 15 Central Park West, such as 14-foot-high ceilings, a private dining room for the inhabitants, along with a library and other communal spaces represent a return to features of New York City's earliest apartment buildings dating to the 19th century.

Rounding out this exploration of the New York City apartment house are brief glimpses of certain modern residential towers in lower Manhattan designed by today's vanguard architects. In addition, Elizabeth Hawes, author of New York, New York: How the Apartment House Transformed the Life of the City (1869-1930)provides informative socio-cultural observations about this form of high-rise living.


DVD (Color) / 2011 / 24 minutes

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I.M. PEI: BUILDING CHINA MODERN

Directed by Anne Makepeace

Architect I.M. Pei returns to his home city of Suzhou, China to build a modern museum that complements the architecture of the 2,500 year-old city and sets a course for modern Chinese architecture.

I.M. Pei has been called the most important living modern architect, defining the landscapes of some of the world's greatest cities. A monumental figure in his field and a laureate of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, Pei is the senior statesman of modernism and last surviving link to such great early architects as Le Corbusier, Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe.

Entering into the twilight of his career and well into his eighties when the project began, Pei returns to his ancestral home of Suzhou, China to work on his most personal project to date. He is commissioned to build a modern museum in the city's oldest neighborhood which is populated by classical structures from the Ming and Qing dynasties. For the architect who placed the pyramid at the Louvre, the test to integrate the new with the old is familiar but still difficult. The enormous task is to help advance China architecturally without compromising its heritage. In the end, what began as his greatest challenge and a labor of sentiment, says Pei, ultimately becomes "my biography."

Reviews
  • "A moving and intimate portrayal of I.M. Pei's lifelong quest to define modern architecture that is true to its cultural roots. Building China Modern follows I.M. Pei's eight year journey and his challenges to define Chinese modern architecture in the Suzhou Museum--to make it, in his Chinese words, 'Su he xin,' meaning 'Suzhou yet new.'" - Shirley Young, Governor and founding member, Committee of 100

  • "Striving to balance architectural advancement with respect for the grandeur of China's heritage, Pei works on his most challenging--and most personal--task yet...Highly recommended." - The Midwest Book Review

  • "Its real subject is the rapid change sweeping China and the tensions between modernity concomitant with change...The filmmakers could not have found a better subject than Pei through which to tell this story of how one reconciles such tensions...[The film is] a loving tribute to a second-generation modernist." - Sharon McHugh, World Architecture News

    Award
  • CINE Golden Eagle Award

    DVD / 2010 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 53 minutes

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    SOL LEWITT: WALL DRAWINGS

    Directors: Edgar B. Howard, Tom Piper

    During the four decades of his career, Sol LeWitt produced more than 1200 wall drawings using a deliberately limited repertoire of lines and geometric shapes to create works of remarkable complexity.

    Born in 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut, LeWitt is considered one of the key pioneers of conceptual art. His belief that the idea that generates the work of art is more important than its execution redefined art making.

    Sol LeWitt's decision to utililze other artists to install his wall drawings in architecturally diverse spaces informs the execution of his works. Like a musical score, his wall drawings play differently each time they are produced.

    This film takes as its focus the retrospective of LeWitt's wall drawings at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, which opened for a 25 year run in November 2008. The exhibition includes 105 works from 1968-2008, installed posthumously, on roughly 40,000 square feet of old mill wall surface - the most expansive view of LeWitt's oeuvre in a single space.


    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 54 minutes

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    VINCENT SCULLY: AN ART HISTORIAN AMONG ARCHITECTS

    Directors: Edgar B. Howard, Tom Piper

    Vincent Scully is probably the best-known living art historian in the United States today. Until recently he was still teaching at his alma mater, Yale University, where a wide variety of students were drawn to his undergraduate history of art and architecture courses. For years, Scully's deep engagement with the subject and his passionate presentation style have inspired his students to value these subjects. Many of them have gone on to become prominent architects, historians, or clients of architecture. In his lectures and his more than 20 books on architecture, Scully's insights are eye-opening and have championed the work of such modern architects as Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Robert Venturi, and Aldo Rossi. He has focused on topics ranging from the American Shingle Style of the late 19th Century, which he identified and named, to a reassessment of Greek temples and their response to the surrounding landscape. The breadth and depth of his knowledge, which includes a close familiarity with literature as well as with the visual arts, lends a special richness to his historical interpretations.

    This film explores the phenomenon of Scully, tracing his connection to New Haven, where he was born, and to Yale from the time he entered as a freshman in 1936 to the present. It follows the arc of his interests in classical art and architecture to American architecture, historic preservation, and urban design in the 20th Century. A number of architects and former students contribute to this dialogue, including David Childs, Andres Duany, Peter Eisenman, Paul Goldberger, John Hale, David McCullough, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Robert A.M. Stern, and Robert Venturi.


    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 56 minutes

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    BIRD'S NEST, THE

    Experience the birth of the "Bird's Nest," Beijing's iconic National Stadium which played host to the 2008 Summer Olympics. Swedish designer, Thomas Herzog, conceptualized this marvel, which is not only functional, but architectural and cultural. Explore the creation of this magnificent structure from the beginning stages through the construction and completion. You'll hear from the designers, architects and welders who each played a part. The Bird's Nest stands apart from any other stadium as a one of a kind structure unique in its design and social significance. Like humans, buildings have life. The Bird's Nest will forever be a piece of Beijing's history and Chinese culture.

    DVD / 2009 / (Senior High - College) / 51 minutes

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    BERLIN

    The spotlight falls on Berlin, an epicenter, of European contemporary art. When the Berlin wall came down in 1989, artists moved in attracted by the city's bohemian image and liberalism. Frank Thiel has documented the rapid rebirth and architectural changes in the reunified Berlin and Norbert Bisky's violent, but pastel scenes deal with disillusion in the utopia of a western world.

    DVD / 2009 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    ITALY

    Travel to Italy to discover more about its burgeoning contemporary art scene. We meet rising star Patrick Tuttofuoco, who uses architecture as inspiration for his dynamic sculptures and we meet il Padre of contemporary Italian art, Michelangelo Pistoletto.

    DVD / 2009 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    MUMBAI

    Destination Art travels to Mumbai, the fastest moving, most affluent and industrialized city in India. We take a look at its ever changing landscape through the eyes of two very different artists, Hema Upadhyay and Sudhir Patwardhan.

    DVD / 2009 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    RICK JOY: INTERLUDES

    Director: Muffie Dunn

    Rick Joy, an architect based in Tucson, Arizona, owes his reputation to his innovative residential designs that respond gracefully to their desert environment. Joy exploits natural and passive energy-saving techniques and unusual materials, such as rammed earth and rusting steel, to create striking architectural solutions for living in a hot, dry climate. In this film, Joy takes viewers through the Desert Nomad House, built in 2005, which is composed of three rusted steel cubes gently set within a dense growth of saguaro cacti. Its steel exterior walls are thin to avoid attracting too much heat, yet designed to allow natural convection to flow between the outer skin and maple-paneled interior walls.

    The film also features: several current projects, the Ventana Canyon Residence (2007), and Tucson Mountain House (2001) which Joy built with rammed earth, tamping down a mix of soil and a stabilizer to create thick walls with thermal properties.

    In 2009, Joy, who grew up in Maine, completed his first project in the Northeast, a house in Woodstock, Vermont. Constructed of cedar shingles and stone, its vernacular form evokes that of a New England barn. The house reveals Joy's ability to sensitively design according to varied physical contexts.


    DVD / 2009 / 22 minutes

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    STUDIO GANG ARCHITECTS: AQUA TOWER

    Director: Tom Piper

    Chicago is famous for its role in fostering modern architecture, owing to the legacy of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in the late 1900s, and Mies van der Rohe in the mid-20th Century. Now Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang, is giving the epithet "Chicago School" a new meaning. Gang, who started her architectural practice in Chicago in 1997, completed Aqua, an 82-story apartment tower, overlooking the city's Millennium Park in 2009. She has differentiated herself from the big-office architects who usually get apartment building commissions by the design of a sinuously curving concrete tower that is imaginative as it is elegant. Already an icon on the city's skyline, the concrete floorplates take on a different contour at each level, with variously curved cantilevered balconies.

    Gang worked with Aqua's developer James Loewenberg of Magellan Development Group, who is also an architect, to come up with a number of green features for the building. The terraces provide shading against the sun, with heat-resistant and reflective glass provided where needed, and the building has an 80,000 square-foot garden on the roof of the podium on which the tower sits.

    The film not only examines the thinking behind Aqua that make its presence on the skyline so striking, but takes visitors to the award-winning "Brick Weave House" (2009) in a Chicago residential neighborhood, where brick walls form a large open-air "screened porch" at the house's front. Another project, the SOS Children's Village Lavezzorio Community Center on Chicago's South Side (2008) makes use of irregular, workmanlike concrete. In addition, Blair Kamin, the architectural critic of the Chicago Tribune, appears in the film to elucidate the impact Gang has had on the Chicago landscape.


    DVD (Color) / 2009 / 27 minutes

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    WORLD'S DREAM STAGE, THE

    Beijing, the capital of China, has rapidly grown into a city of architectural genius. With the opening of the National Center for Performing Arts designed by world famous French architect Paul Andreu, (Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport,) Beijing now hosts the largest ellipsoid in the world at over 6 million square feet.

    Complimenting "The Bird's Nest, Beijing's Olympic Stadium, the silver dome-shaped grand theatre is affectionately dubbed "The Egg," and is covered with 2000 titanium panels and 1000 pieces of shining glass. It is strategically built on Beijing's Chang-an Avenue, an area filled with architectural history spanning 600 years. This "Dream Stage" is surrounded by a magnificent clear sky and a man-made lake. The highly sophisticated Center seats 6,500 people and is made up of three performance halls: the Opera Hall, Concert Hall and Theatre Hall. No only is it an architectural marvel, but also a landscape wonder with pleasant gardens, and expertly designed engineering. From sound engineering to structural engineering. "The World's Dream Stage" will take you on a personal tour and in-depth presentation of this magnificent landmark in the capital city of China.


    DVD / 2009 / (Senior High - College) / 54 minutes

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    UNMAYYADS AND THEIR CAPITAL DAMASCUS

    Presenter: Akbar Ahmed

    The first program in the series looks at the achievements of the first Islamic dynasty, the Umayyads, who established their capital at Damascus. Their regime spread throughout greater Syria and they left a rich architectural heritage. This includes two of the great surviving Islamic buildings, the Great Mosque of Damascus and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. The program emphasises how the early Islamic builders and architects used ideas and materials inherited from their Byzantine predecessors - for instance columns and capitals are clearly "borrowed" from earlier buildings and earlier ages. In just the same way, Islam inherited a strong Christian tradition in the Middle East and adapted Christian tenets and beliefs within their new faith. Christianity may have been to a large extent superseded in the Middle East - it was still respected. For instance, in the middle of the prayer hall of the Damascus mosque stands the burial shrine of St. John the Baptist. Umayyad achievement is seen also in Spain, where the family's descendants ruled long after they had lost power in Syria. In Spain too they left the great legacy of Andalusia - al-Andalus. Akbar Ahmed goes on to talk about the influence of Salah-al-Din, Saladin, the revered warrior who defeated the Crusaders. He is remembered in the region as much for his piety and integrity as his prowess in battle. Saladin and his successors started their own regime, the Ayyubids, which left its own architectural influence on the face of the region. This program does not just deal with mosque or religious architecture. At Jericho we see the remains of one of the Arab conquerors' luxurious desert palaces, with its famous gazelle mosaic that has become an icon of Islamic visual art. From the Ayyubid period we see the mighty citadel of Aleppo, only really conquered by Tamerlane himself.


    DVD / 2007 / (Senior High - College) / 45 minutes

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    THE OTTOMANS AND THEIR CAPITAL ISTANBUL

    Presenter: Akbar Ahmed

    The final programme of the three deals with the last great Islamic dynasty, the Ottomans, and their great capital at Istanbul. The Ottomans continued the theme of borrowing from, or adapting, the work of their Byzantine predecessors. The two dominating buildings of historic Istanbul are the Blue Mosque and Haghia Sophia. The latter is a converted Christian cathedral, still containing the images of Jesus and Mary alongside the motifs of the early caliphs. The man mainly responsible for the conversion was the pre-eminent architect of Islam, Sinan. He was lucky enough to win the patronage of Suleiman the Magnificent, among the richest and the most powerful of Ottoman rulers. Sinan built and builtíK through all the Islamic world. He was the main developer and exponent of the cascading domes which glorify traditional Turkish religious architecture. But Sinan's mark was not just on religious buildings. He designed the harem, the secretive inner court buildings within the beautiful Topkapi Palace. The palace itself shows off the marvellous and colourful Iznik tilework - the trademark of the Islamic middle ages. This episode also looks at calligraphy, the peculiarly Islamic artform which grew out of the careful copying of the word of God. Akbar Ahmed also considers Sufism, a warm and attractive branch of Islam which focuses on meditation, inner strength and religious passion. There is something of a revival of Sufism in Turkey; in Istanbul the dances of the whirling dervishes often first bring this gentle and thoughtful movement to the tourist's attention. The influence of Sufism can be found too in modern Turkish painting: some of today's artists are trying to reconcile traditional religious themes with difficult concepts such as homo-eroticism.


    DVD / 2007 / (Senior High - College) / 45 minutes

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    TOWERS: SYMBOLS AND EMBLEMS OF MODERNITY

    At the crossroads where architecture, urbanism, economics and sociology meet, this film profiles some of the most well known skyscrapers in the world and provides commentaries and analysis from their engineers and some of the world's greatest contemporary architects such as Norman Fisher, Jean Nouvel, Christina de Partzamparc and Paul Andreu.

    Creating the tallest structure is the culmination of an ancient dream, from the mythical tower of Babel to the Eiffel Tower. For over two centuries, these skyscrapers have defined the cityscapes of New York, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and other great cities. Today in Asia, towers are now shattering previous height records. A building nearly a mile high is being planned in Malaysia. Far from going out of fashion, this architectural challenge has become essential in the planning of contemporary urban landscapes; especially in cities where land is extremely scarce.

    Towers all over the world symbolize economic growth and success. In Paris or New York, towers crowd the business districts. In Dubai and Shanghai these concrete and steel giants have radically transformed their cityscapes.

    Everywhere, architects rival each other in originality, and all have their special place in the field of modern architecture.


    DVD / 2007 / (Senior High - College) / 52 minutes

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    KIKI SMITH: SQUATTING THE PALACE

    Directors: Vivien Bittencourt & Vincent Katz

    This video takes a circular approach to an artist who works in overlapping spirals of creative energy. Smith works in her home - not in a space specifically designed as a studio but on the 2nd floor of her East Village townhouse. There, amid her books, a pet bird, and tiny kitchenette, Smith goes from drawing to collaging to modeling clay to painting plaster casts and back, again and again, moving from one discipline to another in a way that can seem aimless to a casual observer, but which is actually modus operandi of a highly sophisticated visual artist.

    Over the course of the video, it becomes apparent that many of the pieces Smith is creating - including sculptures, photographs, prints and furniture fashioned from liquor boxes - are intended for an eight-room installation at the Fondazione Querini Stamplia in Venice, to open contemporaneously with the 2005 Venice Biennale. We see Smith collaborating with artisans fabricating her sculptures and observe her daily interactions with her assistants. We then follow Smith to Venice and witness the complex installation of her exhibition, which proves to be an integral part of the conceptual whole. The video culminates in a detailed look at the completed exhibition, Homespun Tales: Stories of Domestic Occupation, widely regarded as one of the most successful exhibitions that summer in Venice.


    DVD (Color) / 2006 / 44 minutes

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    BARCELONA

    Within its walls Barcelona encloses architectural treasurers of which the greatest curiosity is the Church of the Sagrada Familia.

    DVD / 2006 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    BRASILIA

    The Experience of a capital created from nothing forty years ago on a desert plateau in Brazil.

    DVD / 2006 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    DUBAI, MANAMA, DOHA

    Along the Persian Gulf flourishes a chain of tourists cities with futuristic architecture heralding the look of the 21st century.

    DVD / 2006 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    LONDON

    The rediscovery of a city that cares more about the art of living than its monuments.

    DVD / 2006 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    MANHATTAN

    Around Central Park, discovering the city that is the most representative of the architecture of the 20th century.

    DVD / 2006 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    PARIS

    Paris, a capital playing on the contrast between tiny popular streets unknown to tourists and the beautiful buildings along the Seine.

    DVD / 2006 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    RIO DE JANEIRO

    The most agreeable city in Brazil was also the site of the most successful architectural creations of the 20th century.

    DVD / 2006 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    SHANGHAI

    In the new China open to the West, Shanghai is developing apace in a 21st century architectural style.

    DVD / 2006 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    SIR JOHN SOANE: AN ENGLISH ARCHITECT, AN AMERICAN LEGACY

    Director: Murray Grigor

    All great art engages in a dialogue with the past. Architecture is no exception, as this film shows in its examination of the legacy of Sir John Soane (1753-1837), an English architect of rare genius whose influence on a generation of America's foremost architects is profound. Among them, Henry Cobb, Michael Graves, Philip Johnson, Richard Meier, Robert Stern, Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, all acknowledge their debt to Soane and his idiosyncratic reinterpretations of the architecture of antiquity.

    This film investigates both the influence of antiquity on Soane, following in his Grand Tour footsteps through Rome and Sicily, as well as the ways his stripped-down classical style helped guide the American architects out of the strictures of Modernism. Exquisite footage of Soane's masterpieces, including his residence museum in London and the Dulwich Picture Gallery, is intercut with detailed views of works by the Americans, including Philip Johnson's Guest House, Richard Meier's Getty Museum, Michael Graves' own residence and Newark Museum renovation, Henry Cobb's Payson Building of the Portland Museum of Art and the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in London, designed by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. Through interviews and guided tours, these architects, along with architectural historians, Charles Jencks and Christopher Woodward, offer unique insight into the ways in which their works refract the genius of Soane.


    DVD (Color) / 2005 / 62 minutes

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    PRINCIPLES OF INTERIORSCAPE DESIGN

    Plants are used to enhance surroundings, screen views, direct traffic and soften lines in homes, businesses, restaurants and shopping malls. Learn basic design principles to create interesting and functional interior plantings. Explore the use of line, form, texture and color in selecting indoor plants.

    CD-ROM (Win, PowerPoint Presentation (25 slides)) / 2004


    20TH CENTURY LANDSCAPE

    By Michael Ellison

    Michael Ellison, who at the time of this talk was President of the Landscape Institute in the UK, wanted to be an architect but, believing that "the way you group things is much more important than individual objects", he became a landscape architect after training at London University's planning school, but he retains an abiding interest in architecture. His work experience has included a year with RMJM's York University team, a short period on the landscape team at Wisconsin University, and up to 4 years on the CLC's Expanded New Towns programme, before he joined the British government's Property Services Agency in 1978. Recently the Agency passed into the hands of Tarmac Ltd where at the time of this talk he was building up an in-house team and attaching small practices to the Agency project by project.

    His recorded talk is full of amusing asides and anecdotes and is an account of visits to some of his favourite parks and gardens, notably in Holland. UK, Denmark, Germany and the USA.


    CD-ROM (Win) / 1995

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    POETICS OF ARCHITECTURE, THE

    By Emilio Ambasz Emil

    io Ambasz was born in Argentina but trained at Princeton University. From 1970-76 he was Curator of Design at MoMA, New York, gaining great acclaim for his exhibition there "Italy, the new domestic architecture". Since 1976 he has run an architectural practice in New York and a design office in Bologna, Italy. He has gained many awards and honours and his work has been widely published and exhibited. He has lectured at many universities. He is still much involved with the activities of MoMA, and from 1981-85 he was President of the Architectural League in New York. In his recorded talk this prolific designer and inventor describes a number of his architectural projects and some of his graphic and industrial designs. Intrigued by the ceremonies and rituals of daily life, he sees architecture as a stage setting for this human activity and as a myth-making act to give poetic form to the pragmatic. Understandably he has been described as "a pragmatic visionary and a practical romantic" and as "a master of pure geometry and sculptured landscapes.


    CD-ROM (Win) / 1987

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    ARCHITECTING THE PLUMBING

    By Sean Mulcahy

    Sean Mulcahy trained as a mechanical and electrical engineer. He took his first engineering job in 1947 with the Danish services engineer, Jorgen Warming, advising the Dublin architect Michael Scott on a programme of post-war buildings in Ireland. Mulcahy's practice now extends over Britain and Ireland, with links to Denmark and Australia, and he has worked with most of the best-known British and Irish architects on hundreds of major buildings. He has lectured extensively (a number of his papers have been published) and he teaches at University College, Dublin, and Edinburgh University. Though recognising the architect as leader of the building design team, he stresses that it is useless for him to think of design form before seeking close engineering advice. The brief must include matters of performance as well as of space and budget.

    He illustrates his recorded talk with some of the work he has done, and says 'If architecture is art with plumbing, then you must architect the plumbing.'


    CD-ROM (Win) / 1982

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    CITY CONTEXT AND CULTURE REVALUED

    By Miguel Angel Roca

    Miguel Angel Roca, in 14 years of professional practice before 1982, produced over 100 projects, half of them built, the majority in his native Argentina, in the city of Cordoba where he teaches at the National University and where he is Secretary of Public Works for the City Council. For him, public space is the raw material and basic setting for the life of a city, as evidenced in his transformation of Cordoba. Hitherto a typical Spanish colonial town laid out on an orthogonal grid with central square, cathedral, town hall and river, the centre has been turned by Roca into shaded pedestrian malls, the historic buildings celebrated by projecting their shadows in marble onto the paving in front of them. He has converted the sluggish river into a formal park and he has made visual and physical links between the centre and other restyled urban features - squares, cultural centres, etc. He has given the city a language, an image, a coherence. The innovative quality of his architecture is equally striking, as can be seen in the branches he has built for the Bank of Cordoba


    CD-ROM (Win) / 1982

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    ARCHITECTURE OF URBAN LANDSCAPE

    By Denys Lasdun

    The late Sir Denys Lasdun evolved an architectural approach and vocabulary now widely recognised and which can be seen in his major post-war works. He was awarded Britain's Royal Gold Medal in 1977 and a Knighthood in 1976. In his recorded talk he explains that he subscribes to a set of ideas relevant to himself, reasonable in quality and which engage with history. These ideas are about an architecture of urban landscape, which is an extension of the city or the landscape and which indeed seek to promote and extend human relationships. His buildings are related to other buildings which may be close in space however far off in time, but they do not make stylistic concessions to the past. The buildings in fact are often a metaphor for landscape and he tries to express this through a visual organisation of 'strata' and towers. As the architectural historian William Curtis has pointed out in 'A language and a theme' (RIBA Publications, 1976), this architecture of urban landscape turns its back on the transience and brashness of a merely mechanistic world and tries to elicit basic responses and to unearth fundamental human meanings.


    CD-ROM (Win) / 1980

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