Architects whose works still inspire the future. Frei Otto’s recognition that architecture is fundamentally tied to natural forces is the basis of contemporary architecture – as technology advances, his methods are increasingly applied. His student and the world’s most famous female architect Zaha Hadid was able to build the impossible and thus changed the idea many people have of architecture. Despite his tragically short career, Finnish American modernist architect giant Eero Saarinen’s visionary buildings still exert influence today. The films portray architects transgressing the conventions of their age and pushing the limits of architectural thought while they keep determining the future of architecture.


Zaha Hadid – Who Dares Wins (Lindsey Hanlon, Roger Parsons, 2013, 71’)
Frei Otto – Spanning the Future (Joshua V. Hassel, 2016, 60’)
Eero Saarinen – The Architect Who Saw the Future (Peter Rosen, 2016, 70’)


The legacy of modernist architecture is an inexhaustible theme of architectural films. This selection of experimental films is recommended for enthusiasts of modernism. Featured as part of the selection is the series of the German director Heinz Emigholz. The celebrated experimental filmmaker has created a significant work, exploring and contrasting cinematic and architectural space. The feature-length visual investigations of the work of concrete of engineer Pier Luigi Nervi and French master Auguste Perret. Further films of the selection tell the story of the Vienna Werkbundsiedlung’s legacy, stunning modernist art schools of Castro’s Cuba, and the dome-shaped housing of Michalengelo Antonioni, a modernist project with the utopian promise of an alternative lifestyle.


Parabeton – Pier Luigi Nervi and Roman Concrete (Heinz Emigholz, 2012, 100’)
Perret in France and Algeria (Heinz Emigholz, 2012, 110’)
The Airstrip (Heinz Emigholz, 2014, 108’)
La Cupola (Volker Sattel, 2016, 41’)
Forms in Relation to Life – The Vienna Werkbundsiedlung (Heidrun Holzfeind, 2014, 60’)
Unfinished Spaces (Alysa Nahmias, Benjamin Murray, 2011, 86’)


The films of Italian-French directors Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine are deserved to be among the most popular films of architecture festivals. The series shows humorous portraits of buildings in a very personal tone. Thanks to their concerted and unique way of working, their cameras are able to witness intimate and personal moments of the buildings’ residents. This time, two luxury residential buildings are presented. The one in Paris, designed by Auguste Perret, we enter the building with its eccentric caretaker Monsieur Catello and explore the 9-storey house with the residents from their unique point of view. The other is a portrait of the giant ‘8 House’ built by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels in the suburbs of Copenhagen. The directors recount their subjective experience of living inside the experimental vertical village.


The Infinite Happiness (Ila Bêka, Louise Lemoine, 2015, 85’)
25 Bis (Ila Bêka, Louise Lemoine, 2014, 47’)


Today, few people deny climate change. It is certain however that the ecological footprint of the renovation of buildings is smaller than to build a new one. The selection of films presents radical approaches to the topic of city-scale urban recycling. Renovating a Parisian housing estate, creating a startup community from abandoned boats in Amsterdam, and inhabiting the canals of London are subjects to these inspiring documentaries. Two films deal with the work of French architects Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, who are pioneers of adaptive re-use of residential estates from the 60s.


Slightly Modified Housing (Guillaume Meigneux, 2013, 77’)
The Imaginaries of Transformation (Karine Dana, 2015, 20’)
Urban Tides (Simone Eleveld, 2015, 39’)
London Afloat (Gloria Aura Bortolini, 2015, 30’)
You’ll Soon Be Here (Fabio Petronilli, 2016, 38’)


The novelty of this year’s edition is a unique selection of feature films. The cinematic version J. G. Ballard’s dystopian novel High-Rise shows the seedy underbelly of the fictional brutalist tower that does not spare its inhabitants, while rough chaos takes over the building. The latest film from the main figure of Romanian new wave Cristi Puiu is cantered around a dramatic family gathering. The beautifully coloured film is set in a wood-panelled flat in Bucharest. By opening and closing each room’s doors in vain attempts to isolate renters, petty melodramas and exhausted family members can be followed.


High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, 2015, 120’)
Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu, 2016, 173’)


Astounding stories of metropolises in China, South Korea and Taiwan. Follow the lives of immigrant workers, factory owners and dancers in the centre of the Made in China phenomenon in Yiwu, China. The films also explain how South Korean factory workers established a specific language to ease their adaptation to urban existence and a specific building type which is the byproduct of a rapidly spreading habit of chewing betel nut in Taiwan.


Bulkland (Daniel Whelan, 2015, 59’)
Bikini Words (Nils Clauss, 2016, 7’)
By Way of Display (Karl-Heinz Klopf, 2003, 37’)


Compilation of short films of architects and buildings from recent years.


Jean Nouvel – Reflections (Matt Tyrnauer, 2016, 15’)
Francis Kéré – An Architect Between (Daniel Schwartz, 2016, 19’)
Abandoned Berlin (Jordi Busquets, 2016, 12’)
Bishop Edward King Chapel (Nilesh Patel, 2015, 6’)
Sainsbury Wellcome Centre (James Dougan, Squint/Opera, 2016, 6′)


Central European architecture and the transformation of the urban landscape of the Post-socialist countries have been very inspiring themes for video artists and filmmakers. Disappearing old neighbourhoods, renamed streets, new districts, the conflicts and contrasts of the street or the newly found multiculturalism of Central European cities all provide a sharp lens to interpret social changes in these societies. Videos, short and feature films not only offer new viewpoints to look at these changes, they also help our understanding of urban transformation and architectural processes in the region. In preparation for this selection, we cooperated with Prague-based architectural association Kruh.


Central European Architecture Film Exchange (105′)
—— Toward Nowa Huta (Dariusz Kowalski, 2012, 78’)
—— To Hide Under Cover of Darkness and Make Things Invisible (Zuzana Žabková, 2015, 7’)
—— Built to Last – Relics of Socialist Architecture (Haruna Honcoop, 2016, 20’)
Selection of Shorts from the Archives of Lechner Lajos Knowledge Centre (74′)
—— It Took Us Twenty Years to Build I (ÉTK Filmstúdió, 13’)
—— It Took Us Twenty Years to Build II (ÉTK Filmstúdió, 24’)
—— Today’s Architecture – New Architecture in Hungary from the 60s to the Present I (B. Farkas Tamás, ÉTK Filmstúdió, 19’)
—— Today’s Architecture – New Architecture in Hungary from the 60s to the Present II (B. Farkas Tamás, ÉTK Filmstúdió, 18’)
Concrete Stories (Lorenz Findeisen, 2015, 62′)


TOLDI Room 1
19:00 Opening night
Sainsbury Wellcome Centre
The Infinite Happiness

21:30 Reception
Infinite Happiness set (DJ Funkheim, Funkey Hustle)


Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre
Wake Up with an Architect: lecture by architect Frédéric Druot

TOLDI Room 1
Concrete Stories
Jean Nouvel – Reflections
Francis Kéré – An Architect Between
25 Bis
Perret in France and Algeria
screening and discussion with director Heinz Emigholz
The Imaginaries of Transformation
Slightly Modified Housing
screening and discussion with architect Frédéric Druot

TOLDI Room 2
Central European Architecture Film Exchange:
Built to Last – Relics of Socialist Architecture
screening and discussion with director Haruna Honcoop
To Hide Under Cover of Darkness and Make Things Invisible
Toward Nowa Huta
„Architecture and Beyond” és „Architecture as Autobiography”
lecture by Heinz Emigholz
Selection of Shorts from the Archives of Lechner Lajos Knowledge Centre
London Afloat
You’ll Soon Be Here
Urban Tides
screening and discussion with director Simone Eleveld

22:00 Party – Toldi klub


TOLDI Room 1
Bishop Edward King Chapel
Zaha Hadid – Who Dares Wins
Unfinished Spaces
Bikini Words
By Way of Display
screening and discussion with director Karl-Heinz Klopf

TOLDI Room 2
London Afloat
You’ll Soon Be Here
Urban Tides
screening and discussion with director Simone Eleveld
The Airstrip
Forms in Relation to Life – The Vienna Werkbundsiedlung