156 minutes (6 x 26 minutes)
Audio languages: French, English, German
Available in the UK and Eire only
The series Architectures presents a privileged and unprecedented look at the work of superstar architects and some of their most brilliant creations. Devised by Richard Copans and Stan Neumann, this series of DVDs looks at architecture and its historical and social functions to reveal its meaning and impact on humanity.
The Glass Galleon
On the fringes of the Bois de Boulonge in Paris, a grand galleon with 12 glass sails, billowing in an imaginary wind, towers above the treetops. It is a new buliding, designed by Franck Gehry, dedicated to contemporary art that offers visitors an architectural tour.
The French Communist Party’s headquarters
A mysterious white dome and un undulating glass facade: the headquarters of the French Communist Party built between 1965 and 1980 by Oscar Niemeyer. A fine example of the curtain wall designed by Jean Prouvé, an extraordinary Central Committee room under the dome, some of the finest Parisian architecture of the period.
The Glasgow School of Art
Built at the dawn of the 20th Century by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Glasgow School of Art is a masterpiece that combines constructive rationality, Art nouveau subjectivism, obsessive attention to detail and decorative fantasy. Its influence is without parallel in early 20th Century architecture.
The Unal house
Designed by Claude Häusermann-Costy and built by Joël Unal between 1972 and 2008, the Unal house is a bubble house without a single right angle. The technique used was the application by hand of a layer of un-shuttered concrete on top of a metal frame. The house is part of a movement known as “sculpted architecture”.
Itimad-ud-Dahula, the Mughal mausoleum
The mausoleum of Itimad-ud-Daulah, built of white marble encrusted with semi-precious stones, stands in Agra, the capital of the Mughal Empire. Islamic funeral rites are strictly observed in a structure that combines every representation of paradise. A beautiful gem.
The Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam
A cross between Taylorism and Bauhaus, the Van Nelle factory at Rotterdam, was built between 1926 and 1931. Designed by the architects Jan Brickman and Leendert Van der Vlugt, the factory is the most important and the most accomplished example of industrial architecture in the modern movement.
Co-produced by the European public television channel ARTE France, Les Films d’Ici; Centre Pompidou; Ministère de la Culture; Direction de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine; Musée d’Orsay; and Fondation Sasakawa.