ARCHITECTURE; THE COMPLETE BOX SET (Five DVDs, Ovation/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

ARCHITECTURE; THE COMPLETE BOX SET (Five DVDs, Ovation/Southbound)

Although at a first encounter the narration to this series -- 29 major architects and/or buildings in separate episodes over five DVDs -- might seem a little dry and distant, you warm to it as the images take hold and the voice-over offers clear and informative commentary.

These episodes take the nature of self-contained films (character and period explored in relation to the work) and although Very Serious Architects may well wish for more detail, for those at Arch:101 or who are just curious, the broad sweep here is impressive -- and keeps you glued to the screen for night upon night.

There is some remarkable historic work here (the always breathtaking Alhambra which you get to see here without the tourist throng, the 19th century Palais Garnier opera house in Paris) but also those trigger-point buildings of the 20th century: the Guggenheim in New York (by Frank Gehry), the Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo (Kenzo Tange), the Berlin Jewish Museum (Daniel Libeskind), the Johnson Building in Chicago (Frank Lloyd Wright), the Dessau Bauhaus, the Pompidou Centre . . .

The commentary doesn't shy away from criticism or comment which is more amusing for it flatness (that some of the teachers at the Bauhaus couldn't live with Gropius' austere design in their homes so painted walls and covered over windows).

Fascinating too are the less familiar projects such as Jean-Baptiste Andre Godin's grand, 19th century social experiment in communal living/work in Guise (to the chagrin of the neighbours), and the sleek Lyon TGV station.

Some of these buildings have aged and weathered better than others. JB_HZ_CHEAP_long

Given that architecture is the art and design form which most imposes itself on our daily lives, this series is an insight into how architects think, why shapes are as they are -- and how the planner's dream can sometimes not be matched by technology.

And sometimes of the human failings of those who are required to occupy their grandiose spaces.

Incidentally, this set is only $60 at JB Hi-Fi stores -- which probably qualifies it as a Bargain Buy

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Film articles index

CHANTS R&B: Christchurch's rare rock, rumble and bang captured on film

CHANTS R&B: Christchurch's rare rock, rumble and bang captured on film

Chants R&B out of Christchurch in the Sixties were a rare New Zealand band, on so many levels. Rare in that they played exciting, noisy, feedback-infused rhythm and blues rock at a time when... > Read more

OVER THERE a television series by STEVEN BOCHCO AND CHRIS GEROLMO (DVD, 2005)

OVER THERE a television series by STEVEN BOCHCO AND CHRIS GEROLMO (DVD, 2005)

A couple of years ago, if you had driven an hour north of downtown LA you would have been in a war zone, a slice of hellish Iraq right there in the arid desert of California. An American unit... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

India: A nation on steel wheels

India: A nation on steel wheels

Look through any window . . . For the past couple of decades I've taken a quick and unfiltered photo out the window of every room I've stayed in, if there's been a window. The views are... > Read more

Rob Ruha and the Witch Dr: Survivance (Border)

Rob Ruha and the Witch Dr: Survivance (Border)

One of Elsewhere favourite artists is one we've never actually written about, the great Garland Jeffreys who is one those interesting mixed-race New Yorkers (African American/Puerto Rican) who... > Read more