Film + architecture : Text


Material Information

Film + architecture : Text
Series Title:
Film + architecture : the fusion between the most popular art form and the most public
Physical Description:
González, Katrina Susana. ( Dissertant )
Tanzer, Kim ( Thesis advisor )
McGlothlin, Mark ( Thesis advisor )
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Architecture Thesis, M. Arch.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Architecture
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( margct )


Film + Architecture="a discipline between two established disciplines. It looks at the way architectural space and filmic space collides and informs one another." film provides a dynamic medium that actively visualizes architectural space. filmic space depends on voyeurism and surveillance. There is no private space i the cinematic realm--every shot, every scene, every dialogue, every sound is exposed and scripted to the observer. Although filmic space is limited by frames, views, loudness, and two-dimensional surfaces, films offer opportunities to experiment with space and text boundaries that cannot be constructed int he physical environment. The vocabulary of film is found in architecture at all levels. To hone in on this shared language, this project focuses on five characteristics of film which have come to be known as effects: backdrop, mood, frame, character, itinerary. Each of the five effects describe moments within an architectural space, specifically a pre-function space that prepares audiences for a performance. Essentially, this lobby leads into a movie theater. To create the ultimate translation from filmic to architectural, the space is designed using a series of short experimental films that examine the effect of character, itinerary, backdrop, mood, and frame on the space. From studied films, these effect spaces emerge. Using short animation, the effect spaces are combined and reconfigured. The result is a film that strategically choreographs the experiences of an architectural space by demonstrating the intent of the director/architect.
Printout. Accompanying material: 1 DVD. Master's Research Project (M. Arch.)--University of Florida, 2008. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 103-110). Advisors: Kim Tanzer, Mark McGlothlin.
General Note:
Architecture terminal project
General Note:
Project in lieu of thesis

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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alephbibnum - 004139787
oclc - 230371945
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
    Table of Contents
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    The research
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    The methodology
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
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        Page 37
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        Page 58
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        Page 61
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    The credits
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
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        Copyright 1
Full Text

the fusion between the most popular art form and the most public

Katrina Susana Gonzalez


I would like to thank professors Kim Tanzer
and Mark McGlothlin for their guidance and
direction. This project would still exist only
in my imagination if it were not for their

I would also like to thank my family who
have supported me unconditionally for the
past six years even though they still do not
understand the need for late nights in the

And finally, I would like to thank Dustin for
the encouragement and confidence he has
given me. I am so grateful for the
immeasurable blessings he has brought to
my life.

"' 't


/ ;

4 -I l 1 -1 1

[Fig. 0.0] Diagrams of frame derived from 3 sets of movie stills: Fight Club, Dr. No, and Playtime.

The following is a Masters Research Project presented to the Graduate School of University of Florida in partial
fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Architecture. [04.15.08]

~ iii




[0.0] abstract

[o.o] Abstract
Film + Architecture = "a discipline between two established
disciplines. It looks at the way architectural space and filmic space
collides and informs one another."'

Film provides a dynamic medium that actively visualizes
architectural space. Filmic space depends on voyeurism and
surveillance. There is no private space in the cinematic
realm-every shot, every scene, every dialogue, every sound is
exposed and scripted to the observer.

Although filmic space is limited by frames, views, loudness, and
two-dimensional surfaces, films offer opportunities to experiment
with space and test boundaries that cannot be constructed in the
physical environment.

The vocabulary of film is found in architecture at all levels. To hone
in on this shared language, this project focuses on five
characteristics of film which have come to be known as effects.2


Each of the five effects describe moments within an architectural
space, specifically a pre-function space that prepares audiences

for a performance. Essentially, this lobby leads into a movie
theater. To create the ultimate translation from filmic to
architectural, the space is designed using a series of short
experimental films that examine the effect of character, itinerary,
backdrop, mood, and frame on the space.

From studied films, these effect spaces emerge. Using short
animations, the effect spaces are combined and reconfigured. The
result is a film that strategically choreographs the experiences of
an architectural space by demonstrating the intent of the
director/architect. U

[project director]

[co chair]

1 Christopher Gerald. This excerpt comes from the course description of Film and Architecture offered at the Bartlett School of Architecture in October 2003.
Gerard is not only a professor of history and theory; he is also a practicing architect and a film-maker who applies the same processes to the making to his fiction films and to architecture.
2 Effect is a term developed by the project director to describe the potential effect (of even special effect) that architecture creates in a film. This project explores a total of six effects--backdrop, mood, frame, character, set, and
itinerary--although only five effects are listed at any one time. Architecture as set was replaced by architecture as itinerary due to the common confusion and similarity between set and backdrop.


R E S E A R C H I .............................................

I n t r o d u c t i o n ..................... ........................ 2-3

T h e S t r a t e g y .................................................4-

T h e D i s c i p lin e......................................... 6-7

T h e C a t a lo g.. .............. ........................ 8-21


[1. 0]

[1 .1]






I '' I
I ? 1

LO G Y ..................23

u e n c e......................... 24-27

G e n e rato r...........28-51

D i a I o g u e.......5...... 2-91

M e d i u m ................... 2-101

C R E D I T S I.......................... ................ 03

Annotated Bibliogra ph y....104-111

A p p e n d i x ........................ .................... 112-113


Opening Seq

The Film as

The Film in

The Film as

[1] the research

[1] the research


[1.o] Introduction

[1.1] The Strategy

[1.2] The Discipline

[1.3] The Catalog

[1] the research

[Fig. 1.0] Lockers sequence. The sequence is representational of movement captured through a series of still images. All photographs taken by Katrina Gonzalez, except as noted.

[1.0] introduction

[1.o] Introduction
We move through space and travel through time. The architectural
environment shapes the way in which we move through space. The
cinematic environment guides us through time while provoking
emotions and thoughts. At its very best, architecture is a
celebration of this space,' and what is film, but a series of "tiny
pieces of time" as Jimmy Stewart once said.2 This project is about
the coming together of space and time through the medium of film
and architecture. There is a moment between film and architecture
when the two fuse and detonate an explosion of interactivity-this
moment forms the foundation for this project-Film + Architecture.

But before we can investigate the interstitial moment, we must
distinguish each of the elements, their attraction to each other and
their polarity from each other.

Often, we find ourselves attempting to define architecture in terms
of film and film in terms of architecture. A seemingly simple
process that uses vocabulary from one discipline to describe the
attributes of the other, this strategy only begins to explore the
connections that architecture and film share. For example, Mark
Lamster introduces Architecture and Film with this statement
about the architect and the film-maker:

"[They] have much in common. Their professions demand a
combination of courage, determination, and hubris that allow
them to impose a personal vision on an often unreceptive
world. Both practice synthetic arts, where collaboration and
compromise are rules rather than exceptions and where
clients have financial-if not creative-control. Orchestrators
of complex production, they require a supporting cast of able
craftsmen who must carry out their tasks with creativity,
intelligence, and practicality. If they don't, if a project fails to
live up to expectations, the principal alone will take the
blame. Conversely, it is the heroic auteur who will bask in the
adulation of any grand success, the role players fading quietly
into the penumbra. We should all know better."3

We should all know better than to belittle the role of support for
film and architecture. When relating architecture and film we must
consider all pieces of their complex puzzles, all instruments of
their design, and all key players of their product. Each of these
considerations can be gathered into one collection, a catalog. This
catalog is not an all encompassing culmination of ideas and
theories, facts and similes; instead it is a catalyst meant to explore
more applicable ways of using elements of film in the architectural
practice and vice versa. The Catalog works as a table of contents
with an established set of types, yet organized to accept new
discoveries. U

1 Murray Grigor, "Space in time." Architecture & Film, Profile no. 112 of Architectural Design, 17.
2 Peter Bogdanovich, Pieces of Time. (This footnote appears in Murray Gngor's article, "Space in time," 21.)
3 Mark Lamster, Architecture and Film, 1.

[1] the research

[Fig. 1.1] Run Lola Run, (1998) directed by Tom Tykwer. All movie stills
captured using print screen while playing DVD on computer.


[Fig. 1.2] Memento, (2000) directed by Christopher Nolan.

[Fig. 1.3] The Purple Rose of Cairo, (1985) directed by Woody Allen.

[1.1] the strategy

[1.1] The Strategy
Compiling a catalog of known relevancies between film and
architecture begins with the literature review. Writings fortunately
come from both practices. Architects, architectural theorists,
architectural photographers, architecture and film professors and
students, film-makers, film theorists, film analysts, scriptwriters,
set designers, location managers, and even movie buffs have ideas
and opinions about the use of architecture in film and the influence
of film on architecture. Assembling these associations-both major
and minor-are necessary before heading to the movie screen for
the second part of The Research.

Although reading about movies is interesting, it is very static.
Movies are meant to be watched and experienced dynamically.
When the topic of film with architecture arises, there is a palette of
movies already selected and discussed extensively. For example,
Michaelango Antonioni's 1961 masterpiece L'Avventura, Jacques
Tati's 1967 comedy Playtime, and Ridley Scott's 1982 popular
thriller Blade Runner are recurring features mentioned by several
film and architecture analysts. Beginning with these and other key
movies will help the further assessment of more recent movies not
yet so thoroughly examined. Additionally, watching these highly
scrutinized films allows for other ideas to emerge. After all, each of
us takes something different away from movies. U

[Fig. 1.4] Blade Runner, (1982) directed by Ridley Scott.

[Fig. 1.5] Blow Up, (1966) directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.

[Fig. 1.6] The Fifth Element, (1998) directed by Nicolas Coquard.

[1] the research

[Fig. 1.7] Sketch of the mirroring effects of frames in films. All sketches
drawn by Katrina Gonzalez, except as noted.

[Fig. 1.8] Sketch of how a frame can split a view.

[Fig. 1.9] Rendered view into a lobby that depicts the diagrams of frame.

[1 2] the discipline

[1.2] The Discipline
The following documentation provides a framework for the further
investigation of Film + Architecture. Organizing excerpts from
articles, essays, magazines, and books in one place allows for the
careful study of Film + Architecture, an idea described by
Christopher Gerard, a professor of History and Theory at the
Bartlett School of Architecture in London who defines the discipline
as "a discipline in between two disciplines... It looks at the way
architectural space and film space collides, informs, and
reconfigures one another."4 Film + Architecture is an unstable
element open to criticism from both film-makers and architects.

Some believe that there is a disconnect in how the two disciplines
approach each other. Although architects frequently find
inspiration and appeal in film for their theory and practice, the
converse is not so true of film-makers.5 Yet many see that films
make great use of architecture by specifically designing places and
pieces to emphasize crucial plots and character developments.

This project aims to show that film and architecture are not only
closely related, but they can also be closely integrated with each
other. U


D71" '_

-' ---- -- -

[Fig. 1.7] Screenplays, (1977) Bernard Tschumi. Excerpt.
[Fig. 1.7] Screenplays, (1977) Bernard Tschumi. Excerpt.

4 Christopher Gerald. This excerpt comes from the course description of Film and Architecture offered at the Bartlett School of Architecture in October 2003.
Gerard is not only a professor of history and theory; he is also a practicing architect and a film-maker who applies the same processes to the making to his fiction films and to architecture.
5 Michael Dear, "Between architecture and film." Architecture & Film Profile no. 112 of Architectural Design, 9.

[1] the research

[Fig. 1.8] The Fountainhead, (1949) directed by King Vidor. Image source: Murray Grigor, Architecture & Film
Profile no. 112 of Architectural Design, 16.

[1.3] the catalog

[1.3] The Catalog
As described in The Introduction, the following explores several
connections between film and architecture.

Architect as Character
Although the architect may not be Hollywood's most common
leading role, the profession has been portrayed-arguably
distorted-to reflect the dream life of architects. The reality is that
movies have no use for the long days and lean paychecks or the
creeping frustration and mid-life disillusion of the architect's daily
life. Instead, movies seem fascinated with the more imaginary
aspects of the profession. Most architects in movies are form
givers honored by society, disciples of an ancient craft, artists with
steady funding and stylish quarters, creative and sexy free spirits
pursuing enviably unfettered lives.6 Whether or not every architect
lives up to its Hollywood expectation is immaterial. Architects on
movie screens depict a certain personality-persistent, hard-
working, educated-and often walk with a bit of arrogance.

As socio-cultural mirrors, American movies chronicle the role of
architects and architecture in the United States. For example, in
the 1940s architects struggled to find government jobs to prove
themselves as technical and creative professionals among the

engineers and contractors who readily found work during World
War II. In the film, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
(later remade into The Money Pit in 1986), two architects are
depicted as the stereotypical professionals of the time.7 On one
hand, Mr. Sims is an earnest man with a good design skills but lacks
technical ingenuity. On the other, Mr. Funkhauser is overly
enthusiastic and provides grand ideas with no foundation.
Eventually the family resorts to the engineers and the contractors
to build their home.

Architecture may not bring the entertaining danger and drama that
finances big ticket movies, but it does provide culture and
aestheticism that appeals to a society growing more attune with
trendy design. The early 1990s saw several architects on screen.
Examples include Intersection (1994), Fearless (1993), Indecent
Proposal (1993), Jungle Fever (1991), and Housesitter (1992),
where the nervous characterizations of architects seem to reflect
the unease that typically accompanies the designing life.8

Commonly perceived in the U.S. as a male-dominated profession,
the architectural career has been similarly represented in movies.
Architects have typically been played by men, whereas

6 Nancy Levinson, "Tall Buildings, Tall Tales" in Architecture and Film, 12. Levinson is an architect and co-editor of the Harvard Design Magazine.
7 Philip Nobel, "Who Built Mr. Blandings Dream House?" in Architecture and Film, 49-88.
8 Nancy Levinson, 47.

[1] the research

[Fig. 1.9] Architect Richard Meier with Maysles and producer Susan Froemke in the
entrance hall of the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center. Image source: Bob
Eisenhardt, Architecture and Film, 92.

architecture students have been played by women. Of course,
there are exceptions to these rules. The one most apparent
exception is the character of Melanie Parker played by Michelle
Pfeiffer in One Fine Day (1996). Melanie is a flustered single-mom
architect working for a big Manhattan firm. Though not the lead
character, Kimberly Williams-Paisely plays a practicing architect in
Father of the Bride Part II (1995) but not before acting as an
architecture student abroad in Father of the Bride (1991). This
ratio of women to men as architects in the movies may change just
as the ratio of female students to male students in architecture
schools has increased to about 1:1 over the past two decades.

Building Sequence as Film Sequence
In his essay, "Building a Film: Making of Concert of Wills," Bob
Eisenhardt reveals the obstacles of shooting a building project
from concept to construction using a direct cinema approach which
has no preconceived notions of where the project is heading until it
is edited. Concert of Wills: Making of the Getty (1997) follows
architect Richard Meier, the Getty Foundation, and construction
superintendent Roy Bayek as they clash and compromise during
the thirteen year evolution of the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
Eisenhardt, who trained and practiced as an architect before

[1.3] the catalog

becoming a film-maker, is a New York based film producer who has
had previous success with his documentary, Spaces: the
Architecture of Paul Rudolph (1983).9 Comparing project
development with film development, Eisenhardt says this:
"In practice, I found the development of a building program
remarkably similar to the manipulation of images to tell a
story. This is especially true in the editing of a documentary
film, where the process is one of identifying the parameters of
existing material, developing an underlying concept, and
shaping each element to contribute to the central idea." 10

Much as Eisenhardt finds similarities in the process of architecture
and film-making, director of Karl Sabbagh compares his role as
producer to that of an architect: "I have often thought that the job
of a team making a building is similar to a television production
team, and as the producer/director I play a similar role to the
architect...We both make things that are judged from the outside.
Few people know about the bones beneath the skin-of buildings as
well as television programs-and yet those are just as
important." 11

Interestingly, Sabbagh's documentaries about architecture focus
more on the exciting things that have to do with the
transformations of drawings into buildings and less on the
architecture itself. Murray Grigor admits that this is due to the
journalistic background of most television executives. In fact,
senior decision makers in the media have actually told Grigor that
the very idea of making architectural films is doomed because
"buildings don't move"1 Still, the trials and even the success of
both professions resemble each other.

Film-maker/scriptwriter turned architect/master planner Rem
Koolhaas would agree with Eisenhardt and Sabbagh. He says that
"there is surprisingly little difference between one activity and the
other. He also thinks that the art of the scriptwriter is to conceive
sequences of episodes which build suspense and a chain of events.
The largest part of his architectural work is montage-spatial

Type in Film as Sign on Building
Since the invention of television and film, our society has
increasingly become visually oriented. As technology has become
more sophisticated, we have learned to adapt to the layers of

9 Spaces: the Architecture of Paul Rudolph was directed by Bob Eisenhardt in 1983. This 30-minute documentary earned an Academy Award nomination for short subject documentary and won Eisenhardt 3 Emmy Awards. Funded
by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, this film showed Rudolph in the final design stages of Emory University Chapel.
10 Bob Eisenhardt, "Building a Film: Making Concert of Wills,"Architecture and Film, 90.
11 Karl Sabbagh, "Building Films". Architecture & Film II Profile no. 143 of Architectural Design, 79. Sabbagh has directed and produced several documentaries about architecture. His latest work covers the story of Herzog and de
Meuron's Tate Gallery in Bankside.
12 Murray Grigor, 18. Grigor is a film-maker and an exhibition designer His first film on Charles Rennie Mackintosh won 5 international awards and helped re-establish the reputation of this architect. Grigor has a
long list of films about architects which include a multi-award winning Frank Lloyd Wright documentary that received a Citation of Excellence from the AIA (the first to ever be award to a film-maker).
13 Maggie Toy, "Editorial," Architecture & Film Profile No. 112 Architectural Design, 7.

[1] the research

information projected onto our computer screens, television
screens, and movie screens. ESPN's Sportscenter uses an effective
formula for relaying information. The broadcasting channel flashes
statistics in two vertical columns while a horizontal ticker runs
news updates along the bottom of the screen and analysts argue
about players and records. As a generation of "screenagers"14 we
have grown accustomed to seeing type with image. However, the
potential for moving type on screen has not been executed
throughout a movie as creatively as it could be. Man on Fire
(2004), on the contrary, is one of the very few recent films that
creatively places and fades translated type during the movie.

In most movies, noticeable text is at the beginning and the end. In
a sense, the film title is to the movie as the billboard and neon sign
are to architecture. It advertises the film's wares; reflects, or
betrays, the director and studio's aesthetic aim (or lack thereof);
and with the aid of hindsight indicates something of the prevailing
state of the film industry. And like the sign, the title sequence is
either ignored or disparaged by serious film students for its
suspiciously utilitarian motives and close relation to advertising.
But as a form, it is capable of reaching sublime heights. It might be
considered the beautiful bastard child of the medium.15

Type in film began in the 1950s and 60s with graphic designers Saul
Bass, Steve Frankfurt, and Maurice Binder who are credited with
the animation of the opening title sequence. These "typokinetic
pioneers"16 brought us some of the most famous opening seconds.
For instance, it was Maurice Binder who created the identifying
Bond sequence with the dapper spy turning and firing directly at
the camera. Later, Robert Brownjohn added the dancing women in
silhouette for the opening of Goldfinger (1964).17 Text became a
critical dimension of film as Academy Award winning director
Martin Scorsese observes:
"[Saul] Bass fashioned title sequences into an art, creating, in
some cases, like Vertigo, a mini-film within a film. His graphic
compositions in movement function as a prologue to the
movie-setting the tone, providing the mood and
foreshadowing the action of the picture. His titles are not
simply unimaginative 'identification tags'-rather they are
integral to the film as a whole." 18 (see Fig. 1.10)

Architecture as Set
One of the most obviously comparable roles is that of the set
designer. Rather than designing a space for use by people, set
designers create a space for use by a camera. However, those

14 Peter Hall, "Opening Ceremonies: Typography and the Movies, 1955-1969," Architecture and Film, 137. Hall is the co-editor of Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist (Princeton Architectural Press, 1999) about one of the most
influential American graphic designers.
15 Ibid., 129.
16 Ibid., 138.
17 Ibid., 135.
18 Martin Scorsese, Film by Elaine and Saul Bass, BassYaeger information sheet, 1993. (This is a footnote in "Opening Ceremonies: Typography and the Movies, 1955-1969" by Peter Hall, 139.)

[1.3] the catalog

[Fig. 1.10] Animated title sequence by Saul Bass for Vertigo, (1958) directed by Alfred Hitchcock.


[1] the research

critical of architects insist that architects devote their energies to
creating abstract void spaces rather than backdrops for their
human activity.19 Nonetheless, evolution of set design reveals as
much about the changing attitudes in architecture as it does of
film-making and storytelling.

With extensive careers in the film industry, Cedric Gibbons and Ken
Adams both shaped the perception of modern architecture through
their set designs. At the height of MGM's production between the
1920s and 1930s, Gibbons' sets exemplified modern architecture in
Hollywood. Our Dancing Daughters (1928), Grand Hotel (1932),
and The Women (1939) exhibited elaborate architecture and
designs. Along with Collier's 92 (1933), Gibbons' sets introduced
previously unknown forms to a mass audience thus influencing the
public opinion of modern architecture.20 His settings for the Grand
Hotel achieved a complex three-dimensional space that provided a
compelling visual framework for the film's intermingling
characters. (see Figure 1.11) The convincing space accommodated
both the realism of dialog and the ever-shifting gaze of the moving
[Fig. 1.11] Set of the lobby for The Grand Hotel, (1932) directed by Edmund Goulding.
camera.2 Image source: Christina Wilson, "Cedric Gibbons," Architecture and Film, 107.

19 Maggie Valentine, "Escape by Design," Architecture and Film, 50. Valentine is a professor of architecture and interior design at the University of Texas, San Antonio.
20 Betty Thornley Stuart, "Movie Set-up," Collier's 92 (September 30, 1933), 36. (This footnote was found in Christina Wilson's essay "Cedric Gibbons: Architect of Hollywood's Golden Age," Architecture and Film, 106.)
21 Christina Wilson. "Cedric Gibbons: Architect of Hollywood's Golden Age" in Architecture and Film, 106-107.

[1.3] the catalog

In the dark theaters of the Great Depression, moviegoers set their
circumstances aside as the movies brought to life luxurious
environments and comforts. As the House Beautiful movement

S brought out the essentials of ideal living, women found ideas for
their own homes in the sets of Cedric Gibbons.22 The cozy
domesticity of Mary Haines' country house in The Women was
reflective of Mary's own simple personality. Also mirroring another
character's attributes was the modern stylish New York apartment
of the sly Sylvia with its hard edges and glass bath tub. Joseph
Rosa confirms the theory that Hollywood films have both reflected
and shaped American views about modern domestic design.23 For
instance, modern domestic homes shown in the 1930s thru 1960s
were reserved for the singles, the wealthy, the easy women, and
the bachelors.24

However, during World War II, supplies were scarce and the elegant
sets of movies displayed a limited range of architectural

[Fig. 1.12] A scene from Sydney's Salon in The Women, (1939) set designer Cedric
Gibbons. Image source: Christina Wilson, 110. Curiously, after the war, evil developed a dark and larger-than-life
presence in the set designs of Ken Adams. Having grown up in Nazi
Germany, this trained architect brought his haunted background to

22 Christina Wilson, 110.
23 Joseph Rosa, "Tearing Down the House: Modern Homes in the Movies," Architecture and Film, 159. Rosa is the curator of architecture at the Hines Architectural Center, Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.
24 Examples of this came be seen in Reaching for the Moon 1931, The Women 1939, It's a Wonderful Life 1946, Susan Lenox: Her Fall & Rise 1931, Dark Victory 1939, Christmas in Connecticut 1945, Auntie Mame 1958, The
Enchanted Cottage 1944, Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House 1948, The Fountainhead 1949, Palm Springs Weekend 1963. Rosa describes these in his essay "Tearing Down the House: Modern Homes in the Movies."
25 Christina Wilson, 114.

[1] the research

[Fig. 1.13] Ken Adam, drawing for Spectre's hidden volcano headquarters set in You Only Live Twice (1966) directed by Ian Flemming. Image
source: Donald Albrecht, "Dr. Caligar's Cabinets," Architecture and Film, 125.

[Fig. 1.15] You Only Live Twice, MGM/BFI Stills. Image source: Bob Fear, "Therapeutic Visions," Architecture & Film II Profile no. 143 of
Architectural Design, 79.

[1.3] the catalog

the sets of Bond movies. Seven Bond thrillers earned him the
reputation as the Frank Lloyd Wright of decor noir.26

In movies, we believe what we want to believe. As a master of
imagining and executing intense realistic sets, Adams depended on
the willing suspension of disbelief to convincingly recreate a
gigantic 40-foot high golden prison in Goldfinger (1964). (see
Figure 1.14) Adams admitted that he knew gold would never be
stacked more than two and a half feet high; still, he received
letters from people all over the world asking how he was able to
shoot in Fort Knox.27

Even today with green screens and blue screens, digital renderings
are extremely life-like and force us to wonder how James Cameron
found such great footage of the Titanic's 1912 crash.28
Architecture as Set is more than replicating history; it offers
[Fig. 1.14] Ken Adam, drawing for the Fort Knox vaults set of Goldfinger, (1963) directed
glimpses into the future. Ridley Scott's 1982 Blade Runner and by Ian Flemming. Image source: Donald Albrecht, 124.
Terry Gilliam's 1985 Brazil propose a futuristic architecture of
cyborg metropolises.29

Sets are meticulously designed and constructed to compliment the
story of the film. They transform sound stages into places that are
born in the designer's and director's dreams. Sometimes they
criticize the present; other times they carry us to the past or fly us

26 Donald Albrecht, "Dr. Caligar's Cabinets: The Set Designs of Ken Adams," Architecture and Film, 118.
27 Peter Haining, James Bond: A Celebration. London: Planet Books, 1987: 131. (This is a footnote in Donald Albrecht's essay "Dr Caligar's Cabinets: The Set Designs of Ken Adams," 125.)
28 James Cameron is the Academy Award winning director of the 1997 movie Titanic.
29 Rachel Armstrong, "Cyborg architecture and Terry Gilliam's Brazil," Architecture & Film II Profile no. 143 of Architectural Design, 55.

[1] the research

[Fig. 1.16] The Marn County Civic Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1962 is
depicted as the Gattaca Headqarters in Andrew Niccol's 1997 movie Gattaca.

to the future. More recently, sets open new horizons to places not
of this earth but of the books that capture our imaginations such as
the epic series of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and even
The Golden Compass.

Architecture as Backdrop
In a different sense than Architecture as Set, Architecture as
Backdrop introduces a new component to the production team-the
location manager. Much like developers scope out new sites for
potential projects, location managers work directly with directors
and production designers to find locations for shooting films. Bob
Craft, a location manager in Hollywood, says that after finding
locations, his job turns to dealing with property managers, owners,
lawyers, and of course money.

It is interesting and fun, for architecture students especially, to
name and locate the sites of movies. For example, the Marin
County Civic Center by Frank Lloyd Wright appears in the 1997
science-fiction Gattaca as well as George Lucas' early film THX
1138:4EB. The list of architecture featured in films is extensive,
but one recurring theme in Architecture as Backdrop is the
stereotyping of modern design and those who enjoy it.30

[Fig. 1.17] Gattaca also uses the Spillway of the Sepulveda Dam in Los Angeles as the
monumental backdrop of the Gattaca headquarters.

[1.3] the catalog

[Fig. 1.18] CLA Building at Cal Poly Pomona by Antoine Predock is featured as the modern
residence of Vincent and Jerome in Gattaca.

Americans' struggle and sometimes rejection of modern
architecture is arguably due to the presentation of modern homes
on screen as the dominion of the bad guy and the den of corruption.
Featuring their California homes as sinful lairs of evil-doers,
movies have depicted the modern houses of Rudolf Schindler,

Richard Neutra, and John Lautner almost exclusively since the

City as Backdrop

Cities are as important to architecture as they are to film. Often we

come across movies that directly pay tribute to their surrounding
environments. This is done in no small part by the deliberate
efforts of directors who wish to visually celebrate their roots. Diane
Keaton honors her hometown of Los Angeles in Hanging Up (2000);
while Woody Allen often depicts his New York City with personal
features. In his 1997 film Jackie Brown, Quentin Tarantino visually

salutes LA's South Bay where he had in fact worked as a teenager
in the shopping mall where the movie was shot.32 These types of
movies are in fact wholly reflective of intimate recollections
through their stories, their moods, their characters, and especially
their approach.

30 Joseph Rosa, "Tearing Down the House: Modern Homes in the Movies," 167.
31 Examples include Diamonds are Forever 1971: features 1968 Arthur Elrod Residence by John Lautner in Palm Springs; Body Double 1984: features 1960 Maln Residence/ "Chemosphere" by John Lautner in Hollywood; The Big
Lebowski 1998: features 1963 Sheats House by John Lautner in Beverly Hills; Twilight 1998: features 1929 Home of Cedric Gibbons designed by himself, 1948 Walker House by Frank Lloyd Wright in Carmel, 1947 Polin
House by John Lautner in Hollywood Hills; LA Confidential 1998: features 1929 Lovell Health House by Richard Neutra; Lethal Weapon 2 1989: features 1962 Garcia residence by John Lautner
32 Bob Craft, "Only in Hollywood: Confessions of a Location Manager,"Architecture and Film, 145-146.

[1] the research

Film As Teaching Tool
In early design studios, film is used as a tool for learning about
architecture's basic properties. Since movies are familiar to
students, teachers and professors often use them to relate themes
and vocabularies. Words like itinerary, layering, hierarchy, datum,
and aperture are just some of the basic terms that can come from
analyzing film.

Film As Itinerary
Some movies have a chronological sequence with a clear plot.
Others move through time backwards to explain the plot. And some
just flash images in no, seemingly, logical sequence to invoke an
emotion on the audience. Still, we are drawn into movies because
they make us feel a certain way. During the Great Depression,
people sought out movies to make them laugh and for a brief period
forget all the hardships of their lives. In a similar ways architecture
can be used to make an impression on the participator. The best
examples of this can be seen in Holocaust museums and early
Roman Catholic cathedrals.

Additionally, some films pass through cities to tell their story. They
may follow a high speed chase through Manhattan or follow a mid-

day stroll through Tuscany. Different methods are used to describe
a place in a way that relates to the story being told. Character
journeys are also itineraries that can be traced through time and
space in movies. Directors use more than just good actors to
describe their characters, they must also set the characters in
appropriate environments to reveal their stories.

Film As Medium
Film can be used to present a logic of a process, to advertise a
product, to depict a story, to exhibit works, to express a position,
or to defend a belief. (It can also be used as a medium for several
other venues.) Film is priceless tool when executed appropriately.
Drawings are fixed and cannot depict sounds or actions.
Photographs are also still but can capture a series of movements.
Essays can use words and images but cannot be heard. However,
films use photographs, action, text, sounds, words, colors, and
emotions to create an art form that relates to the popular culture.
This medium is now easy to create and to share.

Film can expand some of the ways we learn about architecture and
some of the ways that we express architecture.

[1.3] the catalog


In 1925, architect Robert Mallet-Stevens made this revolutionary

"[I]t is undeniable that the cinema has a marked influence on
modern architecture; in turn, modern architecture brings its
artistic side to the cinema...Modern architecture not only
serves the cinematographic set decor, but it imprints its stamp
on the staging mise-en-scene, it breaks out of its frame;

architecture plays." 33

Since the early 1910s, we have seen how the movie camera has
influenced and inspired architecture. Films reveal architecture in
new ways as the un-buildable is built, the futuristic overgrown city
is inhabited, and the fantastical spaces are real on screen. Films

bring architecture back to life and provide critiques of
architecture. They deliver intent, they move. Films express

By comparing architectural elements with similar elements in film,
this project establishes a framework of guidelines for further

investigation of the Film + Architecture Although some argue that
there seems to be an asymmetry in the ways the two disciplines

approach each other; specifically, although architects frequently
appeal to the filmic in their theory and practice, the converse is not

always true of film-makers and critics.34 I disagree.

As architects, we often see how films offer creative insights to our
process, but The Catalog clearly demonstrates the inherent power
that architecture has had on film. U

[Fig. 1.19] Individual locker. This image continues the
intention of the first locker series (pg. 2) by demonstrating a
transition into the individual pieces that developed Film +

33 Robert Mallet-Stevens, "Le Cinema et les arts: LArchitecture," Les Cahiers du Mois-Cinema (1925); reprinted in L'Herbier, L'ntelligence du cinematographer, 288.
34 Michael Dear, "Between architecture and film,"Architecture & Film Profile no. 112 of Architectural Design, 9.

[2] the methodology

[2] the methodology


[2.0] Opening Sequence

[2.1] The Film as Generator

[2.2] The Film in Dialogue

[2.3] The Film as Medium


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[2.0] opening sequence

[2.0] Opening Sequence
From the onset of this project, the investigation into Film and
Architecture has attempted to define, defend, and discover this

"Undeniably, there is a desire from both film-makers and
architects to link the two practices, to see genuinely that
architecture, commonly described as the most public of all art
forms, meets cinema, commonly described as the most popular
of all art forms...Film + architecture is a discipline not yet
precisely defined. It is a discipline in between two
disciplines... It looks at the way architectural space and film
space collides, inform and reconfigure one another." 1

Although Gerard proposes the basic premise of this research
project, he leaves several questions unanswered in his proposition
of Film + Architecture. What? Where? Why? How?

What is Film + Architecture? Where do the architectural space and
the filmic space collide? Why does such a discipline exist? And how
does the architectural space and filmic space inform and
reconfigure the other?

1 Christopher Gerald. This excerpt comes from the course description of Film and Architecture offered at the Bartlett School of Architecture in October 2003.

[2] the methodology

[Fig. 2.0] Performance lit. Early modeling of the entry volume.

In order to define Film + Architecture, the two components can be

broken down into their two respective spaces-filmic space and
architectural space.2 Filmic space is a projection, a visual illusion;
it operates with the rules of perspectives. Filmic space creates the
appearance of space through a lens or a frame. Filmic space
fragments true space to provide an interpretation of the complete
space. In the filmic space, the observer sees and hears only what

the camera allows. Within the filmic, there is no private space. All
of filmic space is therefore public.3

Conversely, the architectural space has both private and public
delineations which coexist in a physical space. Architectural space
is true space and is built with masses and voids (walls, floors,

ceilings, fenestration, etc). Architectural space must conform to
building codes, occupant needs, and programs. Unlike the filmic
space which is controlled by visual and auditory senses,
architectural space incorporates all five senses.

But where do Film and Architecture meet? Where is this interstitial

moment of architectural space and filmic space? The answer lies in
the process of this project. By developing a methodology for
exploring Film + Architecture, this rather conceptual project has

[Fig. 2.1] Entry lit. Early modeling of the entry volume.

2 The following definitions of filmic space and architectural space are interpreted from an analysis of the project and its focus by the project director (Katnna Gonzalez) in an attempt to grasp an understanding of Film +
3 Although we may not always catch the clues that directors hide in scenes, all the information is present. There is no private space that is privileged to some observers but not others. Filmic space can only exist when the observer
interacts with it; therefore the presence of an audience establishes the public nature of filmic space.

[2.0] opening sequence

succeeded in grasping and revealing a tangible moment where
architectural space and filmic space fuse together and transform
each other.

However, why study Film + Architecture in the first place? As
established by The Catalog4 in the previous section, there is
certainly a shared interest between film-makers and architects to
"link the two practices".5 The influence of film on architecture has
long been addressed and theorized. Although some critics
disagree,6 The Catalog set forth several examples of how film-
makers often manipulate architecture to deliver their message.
The creative process of film-making can energize the equally
exciting process of designing architecture.

The last question is simply how? How architectural space and filmic
space inform and reconfigure the other? The answer is in the
remaining text. As mentioned, the following methodology explores
a broad range of the connections between Film and Architecture.
These different processes develop tools to understand how the two
spaces can inform each other. In this project, film is more than a
movie sequence that inspires design; film invites architecture to
play.7 U

Proposed process to uncover the interplay between film and

[1] Identify the filmic effects of

architecture using a catalog.

[2] Design the effects in a given program

using film as a generator.

[3] Evaluate the design using a camera to

create a dialogue between film and


[4] Finalize the design using film as a

medium of representation.

4 See pages 8-20, section 1.3 The Catalog.
5 Christopher Gerard.
6 Michael Dear, "Between architecture and film," Architecture & Film Profile no. 112 of Architectural Design, 9.
7 Robert Mallet-Stevens, "Le Cinema et les arts: LArchitecture," Les Cahiers du Mois-Cinema (1925); reprinted in L'Herbier, L'ntelligence du cinematographer, 288. Mallet-Stevens wrote this regarding the moment when
architecture plays: "[I]t is undeniable that the cinema has a marked influence on modern architecture; in turn, modern architecture brings its artistic side to the cinema. Modern architecture not only serves the
cinematographic set decor, but it imprints its stamp on the staging mise-en-scene, it breaks out of its frame; architecture plays."

[2] the methodology

I -

~dt'.1*l I i;'


O 0 0 0 0 0


Dr. No, and Playtime.
Dr. No, and Playtime.

[2.1] the film as generator

[2.1] The Film as Generator
"From time to time drawings have been an inspiration to film-
makers, such as in the case of Blade Runner."8 On the flip-side,
films have also been influential for designers.

A prime example of this is the Parc de la Villette in Paris by Bernard
Tschumi. Years before entering the competition for la Villette,
Tschumi experimented with movements, events, and systems of
associations which he drew from cinema. In his Screenplays,
Tschumi diagrams series of movie sequences to analyze space and
movement within and through space. The Manhattan Transcripts
similarly diagrams space through extruded volumes developed
from movie stills. At the time of la Villette project, Tschumi was
determined to apply his conceptual method onto the built
environment. In an interview with Enrique Walker in 2004, Tschumi
admitted: "I would say that architecture is the materialization of a
concept; so I tend to search for the most appropriate constructive
means to express each concept." La Villette project was exactly the
appropriate place to construct his conceptual diagrams into a
matrix of inhabitable follies.9

The beauty of architecture schools is that design students are able
to develop and apply their own concepts to their studio projects.

"'_. .....- ^ B Taa ? 1-,lIr4" -,! ..

; iPY

II 1 1 i i

[Fig. 2.3] Cinematic catwalks. (1991-1997 Le Fresnoy National Studio for the
Contemporary Arts, Bernard Tschumi.

[2] the methodology

One process of designing is to develop a spatial itinerary from a
chosen movie. Another is to construct a space that could house a
selected scene from a movie. Yet another technique is to map the
characters and plot through an articulated landscape. Regardless
of process, cinema provides an exciting generator for students to
expand their perceptions of buildings and create new spatial

Effect of Architecture in Film
Unlike Tschumi in La Villette project, most architects do not win the
kinds of projects that offer the opportunity to test theories on 125
acres of unused land. Instead, many are limited to square footages
and programs. And unlike design studios that rely professors to
provide tested movies from which to derive designs, this project
developed its own methodology for generating space and selecting

The project began by using The Catalog as a design catalyst and
focus on five connections between film and architecture. The result
was a set of five associations which have been termed effects.10
These relationships show how the common vocabulary of film can
be used to characterize the role of architecture in cinema. The five
effects are as follows.

10 Effect is a term developed by the author to describe the potential effect (or even special effect) that architecture creates in a film. This project explored a total of six effects-backdrop, mood, frame, character, set, and
itinerary-although the only five effects are listed at any one time. Architecture as set was replaced by architecture as itinerary due to the common confusion and similarity between set and backdrop.

[2.1] the film as generator




Da D O



LT 71-

21 -_
Aim L

[Fig. 2.4] Effects of Architecture in Film. This diagram represents how movie stills can generate spatial designs. This example shows a sequence of stills from Jacques Tati's 1967 comedy
Playtime. However, the developed design found inspiration from other films as well.






T "*
II;' .t-

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[2] the methodology

The following explanation of the effects is not a restating of the
categories listed in The Catalog, but rather an interpretation of
how these characteristics derive directly from filmic techniques
and can physically convey architectural implications. Featured with
each effect is a diagrammatic icon that illustrates the
corresponding filmic characteristics.

[2.1] the film as generator

Architecture as BACKDROP
Backdrops in movies can be divided into two types-two-
dimensional surfaces that imply the depth and extension of space
or three-dimensional sites that are situated in real time with given
functions but are often manipulated by the camera to give the 4 -
impression that they are something else. In either case, the dual-
function of backdrops allows them to respond to the architectural 10'-0"
space and the filmic space. backdrops are intended to extend
beyond their physical limitations and project spaces that do not
exist in the built environment or in the present.

20' x 20' green screen

O r

. ,6 '-0 "

[Fig. 2.5] Backdrop icon depicts the common parameters used in filming with a green
screen. All effect icons interpreted using Blain Brown's Cinematography: Image Making for
Cinematographers, Directors, and Videographers, except as noted.

[2] the methodology

Architecture as MOOD
Mood is a less tangible element, mood is more of a feeling or
emotion that is typically designed through intuition and
perception. However, film-makers have found a way to actualize
this mood-setting into a fool-proof formula. Cameras and lighting
are the most effective components of creating the mood of a space.
Although space is fundamental to mood, camera techniques and
lighting effects negotiate the intended ambience. Of course, less
techniques and special effects are needed when the space or the
architecture have been designed to induce a preconceived mood.





[Fig. 2.6] Mood icons show three important elements involved in creating mood on film-the
lighting, the camera angle, and the position of the character. The position icon depicts the
character of Maria in Fritz Lang's Metropolis. In this scene, Maria struggles to escape the
beam from Rotwang's flashlight. Images captured using print screen.

[2.1] the film as generator



Architecture as FRAME
Simply put, films are controlled by frames. There are certain
universal aspect ratios that correspond to the sizes of full screens
or wide screens, televisions or film screens. On the other hand,
architecture is not controlled or limited to frames. Instead,
architecture may frame views. These views allow architecture to
behave as a secondary frame on screen.

centerline --

.063 offset -

Super Bird On A Wire
.393 x.925 Super TV
ift-U Up .566 x.750
From Center .063 Centered on
Full Aperture

16.4. Aspect ratio: 1:66:1
.864" x.63"
.544 sq. in.
21.95mm x 16mm
31.2 s mm



[Fig. 2.7] Frame icons describe dimensions of aspect ratios for full frame apertures. The
lower image shows how Jacques Tati shot scenes in Playtime to show the windows of the
apartments as frames within the movie.

[2] the methodology

Architecture as CHARACTER
Originally listed "architect as Character,"" this effect is concerned
with the occupant and the audience-the characters of the film or
of the space. From a filmic standpoint, there are several different
ways to shoot or film a character, each renders the character and
the scene differently. For instance, there are two kinds of
headshots, a choker and a close-up. There are also more full-figure
shots known as cowboys and full shots. Each camera shot is critical
to revealing not only the body in space, but also the significance of
the character to the plot.




medium shot


mprliiim full chnt

full hhnt

11 See page 8-20 in The Catalog.

[Fig. 2.8] Character icons lists some of the technical names of camera shots used in filming.





Architecture as ITINERARY
Itinerary looks at the overall story of the film. Early on, the
director establishes the beginning, the middle, and the end to keep
in mind as she toggles with the various narratives that eventually
contribute to a plot. Therefore, itinerary is understood when we
step back from the individual shots and look at the full picture. In
this case, itinerary is neutral and removed.
Another more specific discussion of itinerary investigates the
placement of characters within a scene. This exploration describes
a movement technique known as toe marks (see Fig. 2.8). At a
basic level, the toe marks map out the positions of characters in a
movie. These markers coordinate between the character and the
camera by signaling pauses and orientations along a path.12

end marks

art marks


12 Blain Brown, Cinematography: Image Making for Cinematographers, Directors, and Videographers.

intermediate marks

[Fig. 2.9] Itinerary icon gives an example of toe marks and how they are used to map out a
character's position and orientation during a scene.

[2.1] the film as generator


[2] the methodology

[Fig. 2.10] Movie stills captured from Gattaca, (1997) directed by Andrew Niccol.

[Fig. 2.11] Movie stills captured from Playtime, (1967) directed by Jacques Tati.

[Fig. 2.121 Movie stills captured from Metropolis, (1927) directed by Fritz Lang.

[2.1] the film as generator

EFFECTive Films
The second step was to select appropriate movies that could
correlate with each effect. Unlike the first three effects, character
and itinerary were more difficult to pair with any one particular
movie, and were therefore analyzed in combination with the
movies selected for the other effects. The 1997 sci-fi thriller,
Gattaca was paired with backdrop due to the way Andrew Niccol
featured modern day buildings and sites that appeared to be built
in the future. MOOD was more challenging to select, but the early
futurist film, Metropolis (1927), made incredible use of light and
shadow to create the eerie and ominous mood that Fritz Lang was
looking to convey. The third effect, frame, was best paired with the
1967 critique on modernism. The entire architecture shown in the
film Playtime was specifically built so that director Jacques Tati
could have the flexibility required to shoot the exact shot he
wanted.13 Tati used each building, window, facade, and even
corridor to frame his movie.

A Pre-Function Program
Having paired a movie with each effect, the third step was to
diagram and analyze the effects within the context of each film
under a given program. Because of the broad range of spatial
diagrams that could be derived from these effects, it was necessary
to adapt the diagrams to a program appropriate for the project. In
this case, the program was a pre-function space to a performance.
Essentially a lobby space, this program was limited to a 50' x 50' x
30' volume in which the characteristics of each effect could
generate the space.14

In order to critically analyze each effect through the filter of a pre-
function program, the process separated each term as its own
space. At the end of this step, there were five different lobbies,
each corresponding to a specific effect. The spatial relationships
were generated from the films which were selected by the effects.

13 Francois Penz, "Cinema and architecture," 38.
14 The pre-function program was adopted based on a suggestion by Professors Tanzer and McGlothlin, to design a particular space with just enough specificity to apply some focus to the very broad conceptual diagrams.

[2] the methodology



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[2.1] the film as generator


[2] the methodology

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[2] the methodology



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[2] the methodology


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[2] the methodology

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.... ............................ ...

[2] the methodology

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[Fig. 2.14] Front elevation. Hybrid lobby with effects merged.

[Fig. 2.131 Side elevation. Hybrid lobby with effects merged.

[2.1] the film as generator

Not So Special Effects
Although an interesting exercise, the previous process was not as
effective as originally intended. Plans and sections of the lobbies
worked well, but the effects did not express their intended
characteristics due to the deliberate isolation of each association
into one space.

The criticisms of the independent spaces were that all the effects
can, should, and often do coexist in one architectural space.
backdrop, mood, frame, character, and itinerary should therefore
be combined into one pre-function space that demonstrates the
characteristics of each within inhabitable moments. To effectively
design this hybrid lobby, the following process was developed as a
tool for critically examining these moments. 0

[Fig. 2.15] Overall view. Hybrid lobby with effects merged.

gjffW~i~" IIi

[2.2] the film in dialogue

[2.2] The Film in Dialogue
Before getting to the crux of the project, we must recall the
statement posed by Christopher Gerald: "Film + Architecture looks
at the way architectural space and film space collide, inform and
reconfigure one another."'5 Where do Film and Architecture meet?
Where is this interstitial moment of collision? How do architectural
space and filmic space inform the other?

This project suggests that the answers are simple. Film and
Architecture meet in dialogue. The collision between architectural
space and filmic space occurs in the method of design where the
camera functions as the tool of interpretation.

However, arriving at this conclusion involved the formulation of
another new process. After methodically merging the five effect
spaces into one simple pre-function space, the next logical step
was to test the lobby to verify that each effect behaved as the
director intended.16 The best way to do this was to use a camera.

Architect as Director
Film is ultimately geared to an audience, and architectural space is
no different. The camera strategy considers the visualization of the
design to be equally important as the spatial integrity of the

program. Although designers are trained to envision space by
accurately deciphering plan and section drawings, the common
person understands space when he or she can physically or visually
occupy it. Therefore the camera allows the director to see what is
actually in the space; not what is intended or perceived, but what
the occupant is physically exposed to when circulating through the
space. The camera functions as the occupant's eyes.

The Methodology
However, the camera has inherent properties that allow it to alter
perception beyond that of the eye. So by adjusting the camera, the
director can pinpoint the effect she wants and then return to the
drawing board to recreate the effect in design. The wonderful thing
about this strategy is that the camera functions in constant
dialogue with the design.

Another aspect of this strategy is the filming technique. Directors
have their own techniques, their own styles, their own ideas and
theories about films and about architecture.17 For instance,
consider this. How would Hitchcock expose the lobby? How would
Tarintino tell a story in the lobby? How would Tati showcase the
lobby? Although using the same space, each director would film the

15 Christopher Gerald.
16 From this point forward the architect of the space will be referred to as the director Because the design process calls for the close integration of the camera with the design, the role of the architect and the director cannot be
17 Directors and architects are the same in this respect. Individual architects have their own techniques, styles, and theories about architecture

[2] the methodology

[Fig. 2.16] Lobby during a performance.

[2.2] the film in dialogue

lobby very differently. The ability of film to capture various
observations of one spatial moment emphasizes the endless
possibilities that film has on architecture8

Technical Strategy
The technical approach to the process is very simple. After
redefining the design through the combination of the five lobbies
that the director generated from movies, she uses a computer
aided drawing program such as AutoCAD Architecture to create a
three-dimensional model of the lobby. The ease of drawing in this
program becomes helpful as she integrates the model with the
camera using the Dialogue Tool.19

Still cameras are used to establish the shot. Once rendered, views
from the still cameras confirm or deny the intention of the space
through design, lighting, and materiality. Before inserting moving
cameras (which take much longer to render), still views should be
approved. A handy feature in 3dsMax is a sample animation that
runs in the camera view port. This animation gives the director the
basics of the shot before rendering the full frames. The basics
include the speed of the animation (so long as one renders the
animation at 30fps), the path of the camera (in three-dimensional
space), the depth of the lens, and the position of the target
(whether the target is fixed or changes as the camera changes
path).2 When the scene is to the director's satisfaction, a rendered
animation is saved.

In a modeling program such as 3dsMax, the director can link the
drawing file to the modeling file. Having the drawing referenced
from AutoCAD to 3dsMax, allows the director to quickly make
changes in the drawing and reload the changes smoothly into the
model. Modeling and rendering programs create the dynamic
interface for testing the architectural space. Within these
programs, the director can add lights, materials, and of course
cameras to view the space.

18 See case studies appendix for another iteration of how spaces change depending on the filter used to understand them. The case study analyzes ideas and concepts crucial to the two architects (Rem Koolhaas and Bernard
Tschumi) and applies those ideas to each architect's own project, then referenced those concepts on the other's built project.
19 The dialogue tool is not a button or a preset in any software, it is the method developed from this project that uses digital cameras and computer models to reconfigure architectural and filmic space.
20 Note that this quick animation cannot be rendered or saved. It is simply a quick reference within the program that can only be viewed as 3dsMax runs the animation. There is a similar feature in the modeling and rendering
program, Maya. However, this PlayBlast feature allows one to save a draft animation. Saving a series of quick draft animations would have been very helpful during the Dialogue process.

[2] the methodology

[Fig. 2.17] Basic space division.

[2.2] the film in dialogue

By establishing a dialogue between the camera and the
architecture, the director convincingly developed three of the five
effects as elements of the project and the remaining two as
interpretations of the project. Although the Dialogue technique
used for each effect differed, the process of integrating the camera
with the design was consistent.

The basic output of this process is a lobby made up of two volumes
arranged side by side and a third that penetrates both volumes and
extends above an exterior courtyard. The two adjacent volumes
consist of the entry and the pre-function. The inserted glass box is
the performance volume.

[2] the methodology

Dividing the program of the lobby from the performance is the
backdrop wall. Just as a backdrop is a flat surface that spatially
extends beyond its dimensions, the backdrop wall element
transforms the pre-function space from day to night, from inside to
outside by extending the space outside the building. By creating
and then further expanding the courtyard, the backdrop wall
functions as much more than a perforated metal surface. The wall
actually operates with the courtyard to project the program of the
pre-function volume onto the sunken exterior space.

- -



[2.2] the film in dialogue


[2] the methodology

By applying a graphic element to only the inside of the perforated
metal, the backdrop wall appears as a continuous surface when lit
on the inside during the night. At the same time, the backdrop wall
disappears when looking in from outside. Without an image on the
exterior surface, the perforations are much more apparent and
allow the observers to look right into the pre-function space where
people are gathered to enter the performance. The reverse
happens during the day. Due to the concentration and position of
the light source, the backdrop wall appears more solid during the
day from the courtyard. However, from the interior, the wall seems
more like a screen and engages the pre-function space with the
exterior courtyard.

[Fig. 2.18] Extension into lobby.

[2.2] the film in dialogue


[2] the methodology

[Fig. 2.19] Lobby during the day, during a performance.

.... ..... . ............ ."

daytime disappearance of poster wal

.7 _


[2.2] the film in dialogue

[Fig. 2.20] Lobby at night before a performance.



[Fig. 2.21] Planr =1 I- --L.... .

[2] the methodology

Another interesting note about the two scenarios is that most
movie performances are frequented more in the evening than
during the daytime. Therefore, when the audience fills the lobby at
night to go to the movie, the focus is on the performance box and
not on the perforated wall. The image on the wall acts more as a
backdrop that is necessary to show where the pre-function
sequence ends and the performance begins but does not extend
past its physical boundary. The backdrop functions as a key
advertising wall as well.

[Fig. 2.22] From inside looking out.

I I '11=

[Fig. 2.23] From outside looking in.

[2.2] the film in dialogue

I 'I'


[2] the methodology

The most effective condition of mood occurs in the entry volume.
Contained between a transparent glass wall and an opaque solid
wall, the entry sequence is long and narrow and transitions to the
pre-function sequence where the overlapping performance box
punctures through the dividing back wall. The intent of the entry
sequence is to establish a mood from the moment of arrival in the

cool filter

[Fig. 2.24] Fight Club, (1999)

no filter

[Fig. 2.25] Playtime, (1967) directed by Jacques Tati.

walrm filter

[Fig. 2.26] Gattaca, (1997) directed by Andrew Niccol.

[2.2] the film in dialogue

[focal length] 7mm

camera 1

[focal length] 15mm

[focal length] 30mm


[Fig. 2.271 View towards entrance from below performance volume.

[2.2] the film in dialogue

Uarn fle

.:amera 3

Uarn fle

[2] the methodology

The first iterations of the lobby design included a short and wide
entry volume. Once the camera was positioned in the space, it was
apparent that the space had no mood. There was not enough
distance between the entrance and the rear to establish any sort of
mood. The entry was simply a short hallway that connected to a
more developed lobby with an overhead volume protruding from
the rear. Using varying focal lengths and light effects, the entry
space squeezed, stretched, and eventually morphed into the final
elongated space.

[Fig. 2.28] Plan showing mood through camera location.

[Fig. 2.29] Plan showing mood through camera focal length.

[2.2] the film in dialogue


[Fig. 2.30] Entry space affected by focal length. L J I

[2] the methodology

Mood also responds to the time of day. The transparent wall is
exposed to the environmental conditions and therefore changes
the mood of the space during the day or at night.

[Fig. 2.31] Lobby during the day, during a performance.

I - I r




4ll l

[2] the methodology

[Fig. 2.32] Lobby at night, before a performance.

-l w I _=

[2] the methodology

In an attempt to test the validity of the framed apertures on the
facade, the camera zoomed in and out, focusing on the wall to
reveal different scales of occupation. Similarly, several cameras
were placed at different levels within the lobby to evaluate what
framed views of an occupant's body were visible from what angles.
Size and shapes of the windows and openings changed as the
camera showed that in some cases, no person would be visible at
all through the frames.

!1 ull" M :

H ....arn',.

[Fig. 2.34] Lobby at night, framing apertures.

[Fig. 2.35] Courtyard frame.

[Fig. 2.33] Frames.





....... .... .....................

[Fig. 2.361 Facade frames.

[2] the methodology

Unlike backdrop, mood, or frame, this effect describes three
varying interpretations of the space through the movement 4.
phrases of three characters.21 The actor, or determined character, 0
sees his or her destination and makes a direct path through the
lobby to reach the performance.


determineC metric leading forward advancing traveling

The audience, or stationery characters, observe things within the
space at several different moments. From the half story landing in
the pre-function volume, the audience observes those pouring in static
through the entry space below.22 From the courtyard, the audience sustained
watches the formation of cues anticipating the performances as sinking
well as the movement of actors within the pre-function space. From rising
the performance volume, the audience experiences the movie or engaged
show in the space. t Oanchored
the OBSERVERanchored


21 Moment phrases.
22 This moment of looking down from the pre-function landing to the entry space is created by a long frame that stretches along the interior solid wall.

[2.2] the film in dialogue

pre-determined logic

observation moments

t I


- - - - -- --CI C
1 n nrn rn I

[2] the methodology

The director character is the designer. This character engages the
space through visually associating moments and making
assumptions about views. The director is the thinker and the
wanderer. His or her path is not linear like the actors, instead it
moves in random patterns exploring the potential for the space.








[2.2] the film in dialogue

0o o i

o U 0

. D

spatial 'li, rv ni l a i ,i. on .

r I

reference points




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[2] the methodology

Itinerary is a neutral interpretation of the project. Much like a fly-
thru or a plan, the itinerary provides an all-encompassing view of
the space. The director is in control of the itinerary because she
coordinates the feel and design of the lobby. Since the director is
the ultimate decision-maker, she knows where the occupants are
going, how they will get there, and what attractors will draw them
to pause along the way.

The overall plans and sections show the part of the lobby and
provide an unbiased approach to the space.

[2.2] the film in dialogue





first level

[2] the methodology



n I , I I I I

[2.2] the film in dialogue

i. performance

J Pr Uuncti nmj

second level

== 6


[2] the methodology

[Fig. 2.37] Longitudinal section.


[2.2] the film in dialogue

P71n IVT TV 77 In i T-

A J& I i




- 'I i

rr1 n r

" i I



[2] the methodology

[Fig. 2.38] Longitudinal section.


[2.2] the film in dialogue

[2] the methodology

Although this project set out with a series of categories in the form
of a catalog, the continuation of the project honed in on five unique
elements. After the careful scrutiny of the five effects using the
Dialogue tool, it became apparent that backdrop, mood, and frame
function most provocatively within the lobby. The remaining
effects, character and itinerary, have less design implications and
are useful more as filters by which to read and interpret space.

If the initial method for using film in architecture is as a generator
of space, this second method where techniques of film are used to
dialogue with the space is arguably the most applicable as a design
tool in the professional realm. The ease of working between two
computer software programs (each specializing in its own areas of
design) to evaluate the effects or any sort of intention on a space is
widely useful and productive. U

[Fig. 2.39] Longitudinal section.


[2.2] the film in dialogue


) N!