mid-century-styling

Caja León Building, León, Spain.

(Arch. Galán Carvajal, 1975)

Photo by Carlos Traspaderne with Hasselblad 500 C/M & Ilford film.

Callao’s Galerías Preciados shopping mall, Madrid, Spain.

(Arch. Antonio Perpiñá, 1964-68)

Photo by Carlos Traspaderne with Hasselblad 500 C/M & Ilford film.

Chapel of the Central Military Hospital “Gómez Ulla”, Madrid, Spain.

(Arch. General Juan Cámpora Rodríguez, 1967-75)

Photo by Carlos Traspaderne with Hasselblad 500 C/M & Ilford film.

Torres Blancas, Madrid, Spain.

(Arch. Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza, 1964-68)

Photo by Carlos Traspaderne with Hasselblad 500 C/M & Ilford film.

Autopistas Acesa Tower, Barcelona, Spain.

(Arch. Claudio Carmona, 1963-67)

Photo by Carlos Traspaderne with Hasselblad 500 C/M & Ilford film.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone :-).

TEN ROMANCE FILMS FOR ARCHITECTURE / URBAN DESIGN ENTHUSIASTS

1.  A SINGLE MAN (2009) This story of love and loss stars John Lautner’s 1949 Schaffer Residence. The film’s immaculate Mid-Century style is the result of a collaboration between director Tom Ford and Mad Men production designer Dan Bishop. 

2. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2000) Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful films ever made, this is as much a lyrical portrait of ‘60′s Hong Kong as it is a tale of doomed romance. The 12th Century Temples of Angkor Wat also make an appearance. 

3. BEFORE SUNSET (2004)  As in the previous instalment of this trilogy, the pleasures of wandering around an unfamiliar city provide this film with its context and structure, and also reinforce its romantic theme of a journey of accidental discovery. 

4. THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001) Wes Anderson’s signature aesthetic had its most elaborate outing then to date, with the iconic 111 Archer Avenue, home to (amongst others) star-crossed lovers /adopted siblings Margot and Richie. 

5. LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003) The loneliness, cultural disorientation, and general sense of freedom and discovery that come with being in an utterly foreign city provide the catalyst for an unexpected romance. 

6. MANHATTAN (1979) See this film for a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum, and for the fact that its central love story actually takes place not between the characters of Isaac and Tracy, but between Woody Allen and New York.

7. HER (2008) Spike Jonze’s near-future LA is a cleaned up, greened-up amalgam of the actual present-day city and the Pudong business district of Shanghai, infused with the palette of a Jamba Juice store.

8. BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1945) One for all the urban designers out there, this is a film about two individuals who are drawn into each other’s lives by the use of public transport :-). For a less iconic riff on the same theme, there’s also the Meryl Streep / Robert De Niro FALLING IN LOVE (1984) (in which De Niro plays an architect). Both films celebrate the kind of chance encounters which are missed when sitting alone in a car on a motorway.

9. ONCE (2006) Again the city streets (in this case those of Dublin) are the catalyst for romance, here between a Big Issue seller and a busker, whose relationship evolves during a lunchtime spent in an local music shop. 

10. BLADERUNNER (1982) As with some of the others, this isn’t technically a romance film, but its love story is as integral to the movie as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, Sumner Hunt/ George Wyman’s Bradbury Building, and that perpetually rainy cyber-punk city. Cinema’s most beautiful (and romantic) urban dystopia.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: CHUNGKING EXPRESS (1994), WALL E (2008), WINGS OF DESIRE (1987), LA JETEE (1962), AMELIE (2001), À BOUT DE SOUFFLE (1960).

(Image: Schaffer Residence by Joe Fletcher, via Remodelista)