Subject: ADFF Newsletter 9 26 2011

Dear Friend,

Mark your calendars!  The 3rd Annual Architecture & Design Film Festival comes back to Tribeca Cinemas on October 19-23 with a great new lineup of films, panels and talkbacks.

Tickets are now available at, or at the Tribeca Cinemas box office (54 Varick Street).

Ticket prices: $13 for general admission, $11 for AIA members and $8 for students. Group ticket packages are also available.


Archtober is Architecture and Design Month New York City, October 2011! ADFF is proud to participate in the inaugural month-long festival that features 31 Days/31+ Organizations full of architecture activities, programs and exhibitions.

Archtober Mission: 

Archtober presents special tours, lectures, films and exhibitions that focus on the importance of architecture and design in everyday life. The many participating organizations aim to raise awareness of the important role of design in our city and to build a lasting civic and international recognition of the richness of New York's built environment. Special programming every day of the month and access to sites, and their architects, will bring new audiences to all of the participating organizations -- all of whom are committed to New York and promoting design excellence.

Some of the Archtober Highlights include:

Oct 5
BMW Guggenheim Lab Presents:Screening: End of Suburbia

Oct 12
Architects League of NY Presents:

A Lecture by Jeanne Gang 

Oct  15 & 16
Open House New York Weekend

Oct 15
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Presents: 
Design with the Other 90%: CITIESAt the United Nations Lobby, Main Gallery

Oct 25
AIANY/Center for Architecture Presents:Book Talk: David Byrne in Conversation with Janette Sadik-Khan

Oct 31
The Museum of Modern Art Presents:The Magic of Plywood Lecture

Unfinished Spaces

Directed by: Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray

ADFF’s opening night film, “Unfinished Spaces,” concerns the utopian fantasy that swept Cuba when Castro came to power and commissioned an arts school complex that was meant to be “the most beautiful” in the world.  Ultimately, the buildings were left unfinished for more than 30 years and upended the careers of the three young architects who participated in the project.  The World Monuments Fund became involved in the restoration of the buildings, and Castro decided to finish the project in 2004. 

Lead Architect, Richard Porro (pictured below), now 86 years old, will be on hand for the opening night screenign of the film on October 19th!

 To purchase tickets for Unfinished Spaces  click here

 How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

Directed by: Carlos Carcas and Norberto Lopez Amad 

The film traces the rise of one of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design. Portrayed are Foster’s origins and how his dreams and influences inspired the design of emblematic projects such as the largest building in the world Beijing Airport, the Reichstag, the Hearst Building in New York and works such as the tallest bridge ever in Millau France. In the very near future, the majority of mankind will abandon the countryside and live entirely in cities. Foster offers some striking solutions to the problems that this historic event will create.

To purchase tickets for How Much Does ...Mr. Foster?  click here

The Pruitt -Igoe Myth: An Urban History

Directed by: Chad Freidrichs 

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth tells the story of the wholesale changes that took place in the American city in the decades after World War II, through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development in St. Louis. At the film's historical center is an analysis of the massive impact of the 1949 Housing Act, which built Pruitt-Igoe and other high-rise public housing of the Fifties and Sixties. This critical piece of legislation also initiated the so-called urban renewal program and prompted the process of mass suburbanization, which emptied American cities of their residents, business and industry. Those that were left behind faced a destitute, rapidly de-industrializing St. Louis, parceled out to downtown interests and increasingly segregated by class and race. The residents of Pruitt-Igoe were among the hardest-hit. Their gripping stories of survival, adaptation and success are at the emotional heart of the film. The domestic turmoil wrought by punitive public welfare policies, the frustrating interactions with a paternalistic and cash strapped Housing Authority, and the downward spiral of vacancy, vandalism and crime, led to resident protest and action during the 1969 Rent Strike, the first in the history of public housing. And yet, despite this complex history, Pruitt-Igoe has often been stereotyped, with help from a world-famous image of its implosion, and used as an argument against Modernist architecture or public assistance programs. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth seeks to set the historical record straight, to examine the interests in Pruitt-Igoe’s creation, to re-evaluate the rumors and the stigma, to implode the myth. 

To purchase tickets for The Pruitt-Igoe Myth click here.


Directed by: Beth Aala

Pool Party is the surprising story of an abandoned swimming pool, the largest in New York City that became the most significant music venue since CBGB's. Both an indie music showcase and an urban history lesson, Pool Party traces the process of gentrification of Williamsburg, Brooklyn through the story of McCarren Pool.

McCarren Pool opened during the Great Depression in 1936 - one of eleven public pools envisioned by New York's first Parks Commissioner, Robert Moses. The largest of its kind, McCarren is the size of a football field, with the capacity to hold a staggering 6800 bathers. 

With a changing neighborhood and hard economic times, McCarren closed in 1983 and quickly became a haven for gangs, junkies, graffiti artists and the homeless. During that time, Williamsburg was a dangerous community but offered cheap rent to artists who could no longer afford Manhattan. Much like the histories of TriBeCa, SoHo, and the East Village, this migration of artists brought life, art and music into the neighborhood eventually making Williamsburg one of the most vibrant places to live in the world.

 Architect of Dreams

Directed by: Geoff Cawthorn 

"Ian Athfield’s architectural designs dot the New Zealand landscape keenly sought after by home owners. Intelligent, outspoken, amusing, opinionated and passionate, Athfield, considered by many to be a maverick, is one of New Zealand’s most influential creative figures who bring a unique vision in his practice of almost 40 years.

His buildings and his personality have helped shape our cities and the world we live in. He has a unique highly personal process- he works closely with clients in an interactive way, creating sites that speak to the landscape and to cultural and social needs. His work reflects a distinctly New Zealand identity.

At the heart of Athfield’s practice is his own monumental Athfield House on the Kandallah hillside. Part family home, part office, a village almost, it is a truly personal vision and Athfield has built much of it himself, brick by brick! If only he could have finished the kitchen by now.

Athfield eschews iconic buildings in favour of an organic approach which respects the sun, the site and existing structures. Architect of Dreams is a film that celebrates a life making buildings that work for people"

To purchase tickets for Architect of Dreams click here