We are proud to announce the acquisition of Living Architectures, a suite of films by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine. These films imaginatively (and often hilariously) explore the daily life of contemporary architecture as it is inhabited and experienced. This acquisition represents the first inroads for the Department of Architecture and Design into the medium of film. In the coming years, working with our colleagues in the Department of Film, we plan to continue to acquire films relevant to the disciplines of architecture and design.
In the Living Architectures films, Bêka and Lemoine explore buildings by interviewing and following those who live and work in them, including the scene-stealing housekeeper of OMA’s Lemoine House (in Koolhaas Houselife, 2008), the priest at Richard Meier’s Jubilee Church (in Xmas Meier, 2013), and window washers at Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao (in Gehry’s Vertigo, 2013).
Released late last year, The Infinite Happiness meanders along the hallways and among the inhabitants of Bjarke Ingels Groups’s 8 House apartment complex near Copenhagen, revealing the intricate community engendered by BIG’s sprawling, ambitious project.
By focusing on the lived experience of architecture, Bêka and Lemoine’s films show the way in which buildings operate after the design process, belonging to and shaped as much by the people who inhabit them as by the renowned architects who created them. These films substantially enrich MoMA’s collection of filmed material relating to architecture at a point at which—due partially to work by Bêka and Lemoine—film is becoming a significant tool for in-depth exploration and transmission of architecture and design experiences, and not only aesthetics and process. In focusing on the subjective experience of architecture, these films further MoMA’s ability to examine and present the relevance of building design to everyday life.
These films are among more than 100 works recently added to MoMA’s collection by the Department of Architecture and Design. Watch trailers for three of the films now on MoMA’s YouTube channel. Get updates and behind-the-scenes insights about new acquisitions here and on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter using #MoMAcollects.