Documentaries about architecture and design are answers to the curious thoughts about the process, inspiration, evolution and struggle that defined the journey of remarkable projects around the globe and the creative minds behind it. Looking at the star architects, here are 10 such examples which are a much watch.

1. Frank Gehry – Sketches of Frank Gehry by Sydney Pollack

Capturing some of the significant projects designed and executed by Frank Gehry including his own residence, the documentary is thoroughly descriptive of Gehry’s signature design process, describing the journey of Gehry’s sketches to design evolution. It was directed by Sydney Pollack, also a friend of Gehry’s, who presents the movie as a dialogue embedded in curiosity.

Frank Gehry - Sketches of Frank Gehry by Sydney Pollack
Sketches of Frank Gehry ©Pinterest

2. Norman Foster – How Much does your building weigh, Mr. Foster?

Tracing the journey of the eminent architect, the documentary discusses the contributions of Norman Foster to the field of art, architecture and design. Through some of his remarkable projects such as the Beijing airport, the world’s tallest bridge in Millau, France, Swiss Re HQ in London, his vision and excellence are portrayed in the documentary.

Norman Foster - How Much does your building weigh, Mr. Foster?
How much does your building weigh, Mr. Foster ©IMDb

3. Bjarke Ingels – Big Time

The most influential contemporary architect Bjarke Ingelsis documented through his process of creating and building extra-ordinary structures of 21st century. With an insight into his struggle, gradual rise to stardom and personal life, the documentary grasps the essence of his ambitions about leaving an impression in the field of architecture.

Bjarke Ingels - Big Time
Big time ©Bjarke Ingels Group

4. Rem Koolhaas – REM

Directed by Tomas Koolhaas, Rem’s son, the documentary is virtually a ‘behind the scene’, sneak peek into Rem Koolhaas life which maneuvers through different cities and projects. The portrayal is an amalgamation of Rem’s thought-provokingarchitecture and the way users experience it.


5. Stephen Holl – The body in space

The documentary puts forth the core of Stephen Holl’s reasoning and imagination which is deeply rooted in phenomenology. Through his most commended projects, one is presented with juxtaposition of architecture and philosophy.

Stephen Holl - The body in space
The Body in Space ©IMDb

6. Peter Zumthor – Different Kinds of Silence

The biographical documentary navigates through Peter Zumthor’s childhood years, further studies and practice. Establishing his foundation and ideology that developed over the years through different kinds of silence, it presents a thorough explanation of Peter’s architecture.

Peter Zumthor - Different Kinds of Silence
Different Kinds of Silence ©

7. Santiago Calatrava–Nowness Architect Santiago Calatrava

The artist, sculptor and architect, Santiago Calatrava talks about his groundbreaking work for the transit hub in New York. The design envisaged through his sketches, developed as a sculpture is discussed with intricate details about his thought process.

Image Sources: Nowness Architect Santiago Calatrava ©Youtube

8. Alvaro Siza-Transforming Reality

With architectural historian Kenneth Frampton, Alvaro Siza tours his 15 significant projects, explaining the idea behind the designs, setting the building integral to the design and using structural design to reinforce its potential.

Alvaro Siza-Transforming Reality
Transforming Reality ©IMDb

9. Renzo Piano – The Architect of Light 

A conversation between the prominent architect Renzo Piano and famed film-maker Carlos Saura explores the design of the iconic project by Piano, the Botín Center, Spain.

Renzo Piano - The Architect of Light 
The architect of Light ©Alice Cinema

10. Tadao Ando – From emptiness to infinity

Navigating through the inspiration and motivation of one of the most renowned architects, Tadao Ando, the documentary follows him through his work, routine and ideology.

Tadao Ando- From Emptiness to Infinity ©The Movie Database

Aditi Sharma is an architect, researcher and amateur photographer based in Mumbai. Through RTF she is expressing her ardent thoughts in the domain of culture, history, gender, and architecture.

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