Architecture in focus: 5 unmissable documentaries that reveal the world of Architecture, Construction and Design

Architecture is an art that transcends the simple act of designing, assuming itself as an expression of human creativity and a tangible manifestation of the cultures and ideas that shape the world. From imposing skyscrapers to houses, including spaces dedicated to housing industries or museums, architecture can inspire, provoke reflection, and even change how we live, interact and experience the space around us. Each building tells a story, reflecting the aspirations and needs of a society, the culture of the time, as well as the vision and creativity of the architects behind its design.

In this article, we will embark on a fascinating journey through the world of architecture (and beyond) through five documentaries, which reveal creative processes, the stories that gave rise to projects, the thoughts of architects and designers when solving problems and innovative ways with that challenges were overcome during its construction. In these documentaries, we will discover the behind-the-scenes of architecture and, in each of them, a unique and inspiring perspective on what it means to create and inhabit architectural spaces which shape our cities and landscapes.


Abstract: The Art of Design


This documentary series, originally from Netflix and divided into two seasons, explores design in various disciplines, including architecture. Launched in 2017, each episode features an influential designer and examines their creative process and impact on the design world. With an average duration of 45 minutes, this series tells the story of Ilse Crawford, Platon, Paula Schen, Ralph Gilles, Bjarrke Ingels, Es Devlin, Tinker Hatfield, Christoph Niemann, Jonathan Hoefler, Ian Spalter, Cas Holman, Ruth Carter, Neri Oxman, Olafur Eliasson. It is worth highlighting the work developed by Bjarke Ingels, the Danish architect responsible for the FUSE VALLEY project, which seeks to balance traditional and avant-garde architecture, always with respect for the planet.


The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes


Presented by Piers Taylor and Caroline Quentin, this program takes us on a journey to different regions of the world, where we find some of the most unusual and innovative homes ever built. From tree dwellings to underground homes, each episode highlights the most extraordinary aspects of architecture, design, and construction techniques that make each home unique and inspiring. We will be able to discover everything from ultramodern and minimalist houses to residences integrated into nature and meticulously restored historic houses. In the second season’s first episode, four houses in Portugal are presented: Casa na Gateira, Casa Monte, The Wall House, and Gerês House.


Making A Mountain: The BIG Journey


This documentary focuses on the CopenHill architecture and construction project, also known as Amager Bakke, in Copenhagen (Denmark). This project combines a waste incineration and energy production unit (with practically zero emissions of polluting gases) with leisure facilities, namely an artificial ski slope and a climbing wall. In this documentary, we are taken behind the scenes of the design and construction process of CopenHill, where the challenges faced by the team of architects, engineers and builders when designing and building such an innovative structure supported by a commitment to sustainability are exposed.


Claridge’s: The Big Build



This documentary follows the seven-year renovation of one of London’s most iconic hotels: Claridge’s. With this renovation, which took place without ever closing its doors, this space doubled its capacity by constructing five lower floors, four new floors and a penthouse. Combining the contrasting worlds of specialized engineering and luxury hospitality, this 3-episode documentary series covers everything from logistical aspects to excavation and construction work, revealing the engineering challenges involved in this unprecedented work to modernize and preserve this historic icon. , while the hotel continued to provide guests with a five-star experience.


Oscar Niemeyer: Life is a Breath of Air


This documentary, directed by Fabiano Maciel, opens a window into the life and work of iconic Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, whose sculptural and innovative structures left an indelible mark on the urban landscape of Brazil and the world. In this 90-minute documentary, the architect explains in a relaxed way how he conceived his main projects and how he revolutionized modern architecture by introducing curved lines and exploring new possibilities in the use of reinforced concrete. From the design of the architectural complex in Brasília to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Niterói, Niemeyer contributed to the redefinition of the concept of architecture and aesthetics.





Although it is not a documentary or series, it is worth referring to the Louisiana Channel online portal. This channel, launched in 2012, is an extension of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark and offers a wide variety of content related to art, culture, architecture and creativity. This portal features exclusive interviews with contemporary artists, architects, writers, filmmakers and other personalities from the world of art and culture, making it a valuable resource for anyone who wants to explore innovative ideas and engage with current creative thinking.

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