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How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?
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Born in Manchester, England, on the wrong side of the tracks, Norman Foster rose from a humble working class background to become one of the premiere modern architects of our time. Beautifully filmed in over ten countries and homing in on his most iconic works, including London's Swiss Re Tower, New York's Hearst Building, Berlin's Reichstag, Beijing Airport's International Terminal and the breathtaking Millau Viaduct, over the Gorges du Tarn in France, How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? is an unprecedented exploration of an architect whose quest is to improve the quality of life through design, and his work, which offers striking solutions to humanity's increasing demands.
Elegant and stylish. This rich, revealing documentary about world-renowned, prolific British architect Norman Foster - as productive and creative as he is inspirational - could attract legions of young people to the profession just as it enlightens older "civilians" to the beauty and function of architecture in a new, more demanding century. The true poetic beauty of the film comes across most strikingly by way of screen time given to many of his hundreds of projects-huge and small structures spread across the globe. --Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal
This admiring documentary gives the viewer quite a lot to marvel at. Accompanied by Joan Valent's pulsing, soaring score, the camera swoops over some of Mr. Foster's largest and best-known structures and floats through the bright and airy interiors of his skyscrapers. Even before you hear Paul Goldberger describe Mr. Foster as 'the Mozart of Modernism,' you can appreciate the grace and harmony of his compositions in glass, steel and light. --A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Dazzlingly shot, stirring. The filmmakers' cameras capture the beauty and breadth of his output with eye-popping swoop and grandeur. The film is an architecture lover's dream. --Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
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Sir Norman favors the speed at which the Chinese are able to complete large projects over the West, comparing the speed at which Beijing's terminal (one of the largest buildings in the world) was with the Heathrow terminal upgrade (still in planning). I am not convinced the Chinese have the right balance, but the debate is well worth having, and this movie is an outstanding start.
Top international reviews
As a training architect with a passion for green and climate responsive design... this film has made me rethink how I go about approaching the structural design of my buildings. Definitely one for your collection and one I will watch again! Every architect should see this!
I see. But let's face it, the man's made a huge contribution and taken up the gauntlet.
He deserves the film. You will learn a lot about architecture and art if you give it a go.
You will be inspired, promise.
Some surprising facts.