Architettura, a 1999 project from director Iara Lee, is a series of four short films that highlight the contradictions and complexities of urban life.
Film 1: Towers of Wind
Color, 6:25 minutes, 1999
During the day, Toyo Ito's tower of winds rises as an oval, aluminum cylinder out of the center of a roundabout in Yokohama, Japan. At night, it transforms into a kaleidoscope of lights triggered by wind, temperature, and the ambient noises of the city. Taylor Deupree and Savvas Ysatis provide the soundtrack to the transformation, as well as the montage of vertical structures around the world.
Music: Savvas Ysatis and Taylor Deupree
Song: May 19:06pm Picking Up the Change
Structure: Tower of Winds, Yokohama, Japan
Architect: Toyo Ito
Album: Tower of Winds, Vol. 1 of the Architettura CD series
Film 2: Terminal Happiness
Color, 4:28 minutes, 1999
Tetsu Inoue's aural interpretation of Nicholas Grimshaw's Waterloo Terminal is a sonic diagram of the station's arches and surfaces, echoing the structure's asymetry. "Room Fx" accompanies this exploration of train and airport terminals as self-contained environments where world citizens re-evaluate concepts of time, space, and place in this age of globalization.
Music: Tetsu Inoue
Song: Room Fx
Structure: Waterloo Terminal, London, England
Architect: Nicholas Grimshaw
Album: Waterloo Terminal, Vol. 2 of the Architettura CD series
Film 3: Enclosed Nature
Color, 1:27 minutes, 1999
Itsuko Hasegawa's Museum of Fruit, comprised of three domes stemming out of the earth, is a natural form on a gentle slope by Mount Fuji, Japan, acting as a metallic home to the vegetation within. Arranged to David Toop's "Utopia in a Fiction Form," this short film examines the enclosure of nature and the control exerted by technology.
Music: David Toop
Song: Utopia in a Fiction Form
Structure: Museum of Fruit, Yamanashi, Japan
Architect: Itsuko Hasegawa
Album: Museum of Fruit, Vol. 3 of the Architettura CD series
Film 4: Monumental Minimalism
Color, 1:30 minutes, 2000
Set to the controlled frenetics of Panacea's "Void of Safety," this short film is a journey through the paradoxes of Oscar Niemeyer's pre-planned city of Brasilia. Built of austere but sensual concrete, Niemeyer changed the face of modernist architecture through his use of curved lines and surfaces, contrasting the traditional straight planes of chaste modernism. Also politically contradictory, the city was built with the hopes of bridging classes but soon became a ghost town for the elite. Brasilia's futuristic sculptural buildings continue to intrigue and haunt exactly for these juxtapositions.
Song: Void of Safety
Architect: Oscar Nieneyer
Album: Brasilia, Vol. 4 of the Architettura CD series