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Icon 121: Film
“If you listen to how my father talks about his architecture,” Tomas Koolhaas says, “he uses the word ‘scenario’ a lot, which means script in Dutch.” Tomas talks to Icon about the feature-length documentary he’s making about his father’s work that exploits their cinegenic nature. Buildings such as CCTV and the Seattle Library are presented as narrative spaces and the camera lingers on the cast of characters who inhabit and bring them to life.
Angel Borrego Cubero discusses his new documentary, The Competition, which seeks to shed light on the mysterious process of how architecture is commissioned. An invited shortlist – Hadid, Perrault, Nouvel, Gehry and Foster – battle to build a new national art gallery in Andorra as camera teams, made up of student architects, record the stressful race.
And Owen Hatherley examines how London’s brutalist architecture has been portrayed by foreign directors (Antonioni, Truffaut, Kubrick, Cuarón) to convey a sense of dystopia, as in A Clockwork Orange. These films, he argues, served to change the perception of modern architecture’s tower blocks and concrete estates as sites not of radiant utopianism but grimy decay.
Up front there’s Foster + Partners airport in Jordan, Haworth Tompkins’ shed on the Southbank, a treehouse in upstate New York, memorials and pavilions in Peru and Chiles and the best from the Milan Furniture Fair, including interviews with Philippe Starck, Patricia Urquiola, Daniel Libeskind and the Campana brothers. Plus: 32 pages of the latest in kitchen and bathroom design.
And in Review: architectural models get ready for their close-up, Duchamp’s American legacy, Theatrum Mundi in Copenhagen and avant-garde textiles in Poland.