best movies for architects

Movies for architects : must watch list for architecture lovers

You must be wondering right now, is it that important to watch movies? It is actually a critical question when it comes to anything related to art. We often find ourselves wondering this same thing. Why watch movies? Why listen to music? Why worry about art in any form? Why not just read books, to learn or know about everything? Well in simple words, the answer to all these questions is we watch movies to feel the adventures and emotions which we can’t in real life. It helps us to have outer world experience. But it is all about that?
In our opinion, movies are movies are as educational as books or any other art form for that matter. You see, they leave perennial impressions on our lives. Be it a real incident or a movie, different experiences shape us and make us what we are today. One would find it really challenging to remember, what they read years back, but movies and visuals have long-lasting imprints. Movies for architects are very imperative, as it is impossible to have them, to have exposure to the architectural style of the whole world at once, they can rely on movies and documentaries for that.

Here we are, with our pick of documentaries and movies for architects:

The Fountainhead (1943) – Movie


Yes, don’t get confused. We have a novel of this name too by Ayn Rand. Though this movie is about a visionary architect who leaves his wife to accept a architecture project in New York, things don’t go as he planned them. In this movie, the architect struggles to fit into professional norms without losing integrity and individualism. This character is believed to be the most ruthless fictional character ever created.

In which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989) – Movie

This movie’s set in the 1970s, which is about final year architecture students of School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, a leading architecture institute in India. This movie shows struggles of Annie, who is repeating his fifth year for the fourth time in the institutes. He spends hours of his time daydreaming about social upliftment. The movie was part of the autobiography of Arundhati Roy (Indian Author) recounting her own experiences as an architecture student.

Mad Men(2007-2015) – Series

If you want to see smouldering 1960s architecture, style, and attitude, watches this series. You will get a glimpse of how the architecture used to be and how it has transformed since then.

High rise(2015) – Movie

This movie is about a doctor basically who moves into a skyscraper, but that is not the point. In this movie, you will see Brutalist buildings, and approach of brutalism to the architecture.

The architect (2016) – Movie


This movie is about an architect, who wants to create something for himself without considering the client. The main character is hired by a couple to design a house but he ends up deviating from it. This is a portrayal of architects from the perspective of the people who hire them.

Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio


If you ever wonder, how architecture and architects affect society, no other thing can give you a better perspective than Citizen Architect. It includes interviews Samuel Mockbee, founder of Rural Studio. This movie reveals how architecture students cross the threshold of poverty, race, education and good citizenship to make the world a better place for everyone.

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?


You must have Norman Forster and his unique design vision? 30 St Mary Axe, the city of London? City Hall, London? He is considered as the world’s most sought architect and has produced the finest post-modern buildings to date. This documentary will give you his an insight towards the improvement of space and then that leading to improvement in the quality of life through just design.

Philip Johnson: Diary of an Eccentric Architect


When I first time learnt about Glasshouse (Connecticut), the first thought I had in my mind was, why would someone want such naked and vulnerable space, without any sense of privacy?
But then, I read about Philip Johnson’s ideology, about how the interaction of a building with the surrounding environment is important and it’s importance towards the architectural act. If you want some understanding about this relationship, you must watch this documentary.

Unreal estate


If you want to see ultimate fantasy houses of one of the smallest continent of the world, this is your thing. The host of the show visits the most luxurious homes, which are extraordinary. Greek-inspired beach homes, extravagant loft designs, 6m wide screen windows for maximum visibility, you name it. You will not be disappointed with the views while watching the show. You will step into a dream, every time you watch this show.

The Bridge in the Sky: Millau Viaduct


Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed, tallest bridge in the world, with a structural height of 343 meters. It is a part of Franco-British partnership, built in southern France. This documentary covers all the aspects of this bridge from materials used to its a structural concept. As this has been ranked as one of the great engineering achievements of all time, designed by the English Norman Foster architect and French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux.

Castle Builders


Are you a type of person, who is into castles and their grandness? Then you must watch this T.V. series. This show actually covers the thought process of engineers, masons and labours; while building medieval castles. According to the need of the hour, what was required, and how it was done, it’s all here from Defence construction to structural engineering. So, dive into history with this visual treat.

My Architect (2003) – Documentary


This documentary is about one of the most legendary architects Louis Kahn. His son and director Nathaniel Kahn try to understand his father’s work and his relations with art after his father, noted architect Louis Kahn, and was bankrupt, found dead in the bathroom of a New York station. The film shows both architect’s works as well as his personal life.

Visual Acoustics (2008) – Documentary


If you want to know about the life and career of one of the greatest architectural photographer Julius Shulman, you must watch this documentary. Experts believe he was responsible for bringing architectural modernist movement to light. Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, Frank Gehry work of such legendary architects was promoted by Shulman’s work and that helped in shaping their promising careers. This is one of the Architecture movies on amazon prime.

Archiculture (2011) – Documentary

This documentary explores the different prospects of architectural education through the eyes of the students. You will see a few young architecture students being followed to examine the different aspects of teaching in architecture. Interactions with these students and their reactions help in illustrating all the challenges, faced by aspiring architect in today’s world.

Cathedrals of Culture (2014) – Documentary


Do you wonder sometimes “If buildings could talk, what would they say about us?”. If yes, you must watch this documentary as it captures six iconic and very different building talking for themselves plus it is entirely in 3D.

Volume Zero: Documentary on Charles Correa (2015) – Documentary

This was actually tribute to one of the world’s prominent architect Charles Correa, using live footage, extended interview with the architect itself, his diagrams and animation. Moreover, it deals with his work, ideas and views of this pronounced architect.

These are some of the movies for architects which you can watch. Though, all these movies represent the architectural styles, which have already existed or existing right now. If you want to know, what used be the approach of a master architect while designing any building or present social scenario of architects, watch these.

There are few Architecture movies on Netflix, which show the futuristic architecture approach. If you want a glimpse of how the future can be or where of architecture heading towards in say next 100 years, then skip the previous list and watch these:
1. Minority report (2002): This movie shows Washington DC on a whole new level with the amalgamation of all the technology.
2. Cloud Atlas (2012): Even this is about the future city of Neo Seoul, though the storyline revolves around six individuals of various generations, who are trying to explore the impacts human actions.

Hunger games: catching fire (2013): now this movie is about a fictional nation of Panem, it’s Capitol. We have to focus on its Capitol and its modernist approach.
This is us, wrapping up our views on “movies for an architect” these are the movies which can change your beliefs and ideas about architecture. If you want us to add some other movies or documentary to this, feel free to drop the details in the comments below.

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Also do checkout our post on architecture drawing storage tubes.


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